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A.B., Harvard 

Member of the Royal Asiatic Society, England ; Commissioner of Customs 
and Statistical Secretary, Inspectorate-General of Customs, China 





[Right of translation reserved] 








This book is intended to portray the present state of the 
Chinese Empire, with such record of the past as will show 
by what process of evolution the existing state has been 
reached. No attempt is made to forecast the future, or 
even to refer to the revolution which, under the name of 
Reform, has been begun. The development of many 
centuries is to be recast, and within a year or a generation, 
according as the pace is forced or not, it will assume an 
unaccustomed garb ; and the China of that future day, 
near or distant, will not be the China of to-day. Whether 
this revolution will follow the precedent of the English 
Revolution or of the French, whether it will proceed by 
logical development from step to step, or will rush on a 
headlong course, will depend upon the wisdom and self- 
restraint of the leaders in the government, and in the last 
resort upon the nature of that public opinion which will be 
created in the Chinese people. But, just as the history of 
the England of the Georges cannot be well understood 
without some knowledge of the Stuart period, and as an 
acquaintance with the France of the Kingdom and the 
Empire is necessary to a comprehension of the France of 
the Third Republic, so also, to understand the China which 
the student of the future will know, he must be able to study 
its past. The China of to-day is, with minor differences, 
the China of the past ; and in this book it is hoped that the 
future student will find, within the limits of the dozen 
subjects treated, a succinct account of the foundation on 
which the China of the future will be erected. 

I have written also for the reader of to-day. I can add 


little to the knowledge of the sinologue ; but the great 
majority of the men of Western countries living in China 
know little of the people among whom their lives are spent, 
or of the Empire within whose borders they pursue their 
avocations. Much interest, too, has been aroused of late 
in the home lands in the study of Chinese affairs, and we 
have seen members of Parliament and of Congress mani- 
festing an intelligent interest and some adequacy of know- 
ledge in matters connected with the Orient. American 
Consuls, too, have shown a desire to acquire information on 
the country in which they expect to spend at least four 
years of their lives. All those classes will, I hope, find in 
these pages some information on subjects on which they 
may seek knowledge. 

My thirty-three years in China debar me from pre- 
senting those first impressions which are always the most 
vivid. That same length of experience has, however, 
enabled me, where my own knowledge has failed, to know 
where to look for authentic information by standard authori- 
ties. To discriminate between these authorities would be 
to set up an Index Expurgatorius ; but I may be permitted 
to say that statements of fact in general, and deductions 
in the main, in the books of Dr. Arthur Smith, Mr. E. H. 
Parker and Mr. Alexander Hosie, may be accepted as sound 
and based on full information. 

The first two chapters on Chinese History have been 
written by the Rev. F. L. Hawks Pott, D.D., President of 
St. John's College at Shanghai, and author of the useful 
Sketch of Chinese History. His task of condensing the 
history of forty centuries into as many pages has been 
performed in a very judicious way. 

Something of the chapter on " Extraterritoriality " was 
incorporated in an article, entitled " Foreign Privilege in 
China," which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly for Novem- 
ber 1906 ; and which is permitted to be used by the courtesy 
of the editor. The chapter on Currency is condensed from 
a paper which I read in November 1906, before the China 
Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society ; even in its present 


form it is rather long, but I give it, because I do not know 
of any other work in which the information is to be found 
in a readily accessible form. The chapter on the Post 
Office is compiled chiefly from the excellent official reports 
on the working, during the years 1904 and 1905, of the 
department of which he is the working head, by the Postal 
Secretary, Mr. T. Piry. 

Excuses must be made to American readers for giving 
the equivalence of Chinese currency values in English 
currency only. The statements of value go back over half 
a century, and readers must remember the state of the 
American currency from 1861 to 1879. 

To the number of works on China I venture to add this 
one, and to commit it to the kindly attention of the reading 
public, in the hope that in its pages they will find information 
not readily accessible in other works. 

H. B. M. 

Shanghai, December, 1907. 







































Map of China facing 



Map showing Gradual Extension of Chinesb Empire . . 8 

Diagram illustrating Provincial Administration ... 67 

Illustration, Sword Cash 119 

Early Cash 120 

Later Cash 122 

Token Coins 127 

Ming Government Note 141 

Shanghai Shoe of Sycee . . . . .147 

Diagram illustrating Foreign Trade, 1864-1904 . . . 270 

Illustration, The West River at Lungchow .... 304 

Monumental Arch at Wusih on Grand Canal . 312 
Pagoda at Wusih on Grand Canal . . .312 
Bridge over Grand Canal at Wusih . 
Grand Canal passing through Wusih 
Types of Bridges on and near Grand Canal 
Shanghai Custom House, 1854-1893 
Shanghai Custom House, 1894 . • 






Currency. — In the following pages the value of com- 
modities is expressed in taels of silver as accepted at the 
Custom House. The gold exchange value of these Haikwan 
or Customs taels (symbol Tls.) has been as follows : 

In 1864 . 

. 80 pence English currency (6s. 


„ 1874 • 

. 76 „ „ „ (6s. 


„ 1884 . 

. 67 „ „ „ (5s. 


,, 1894 . 

. 38 „ „ „ (3s. 


„ 1904 • 

. 34 » „ „ (2s. 


Weight. — Weights are expressed in piculs, catties, and 

One picul = 133J lb. av. = 60*453 kilogrammes. 
i|- cwt. English. 
1 J cwt. American. 
16*8 piculs = 1 long ton. 
15-0 ,, = 1 short ton. 
16-54 „ = 1 metric ton. 
One catty — ij lb. av. — 604*53 grammes. 
One tael = ij oz. av. = 583*3 grains. 
n = 377 8 3 grammes. 




In this and the following chapter we shall attempt to take 
a brief survey of the entire field of Chinese history, so as to 
enable our readers to fix in their minds the salient points 
of the long story. As in the case of the history of all ancient 
nations the beginnings are shrouded in obscurity, and we 
must be content to look upon the early records as made-up 
matter that is largely legendary. 

The Chinese are not the native race of China, but migrated 
into the country from Western Asia somewhere about 
B.C. 2500. They were originally a nomad people, and with 
their herds and flocks made a settlement in the valley of 
the Yellow River, in a part of what is now the province of 
Shensi. They displaced the aborigines of the country 
and drove them to the south and west. Many traces of 
the original inhabitants may still be found, for they were 
never on the one hand completely conquered or exterminated, 
nor on the other entirely absorbed. The modern Lolos, 
Shans, and Miaotze are their descendants, and still live 
apart by themselves in the islands of Formosa and Hainan, 
and in the provinces of Kweichow, Szechwan, Yunnan, 
Kwangtung, and Kwangsi. 

The Chinese gradually spread themselves over a more 

* Written by the Rev. F. L. Hawks Pott, D.D. 



extended area, and in so doing followed the line of least 
resistance. Their first great advance was westward up 
the River Wei into Szechwan, and later they passed by way 
of the Kan River into Kiangsi, and by the Yuan and Hsiang 
Rivers, through what is now Hunan, into the regions about 
Canton. A glance at the historical map will show the extent 
of the territory occupied in the successive periods. 

It is convenient to divide Chinese history into the 
following three periods : 

I. The period of the gradual extension and consolidation 
of the Empire (b.c. 2852-206). 

II. The period of the struggles with the Northern 
Tartars (b.c. 206-A.D. 1644). 

III. The period of the reshaping of the old civilisation 
through intercourse with Western nations (a.d. 1644 to the 
present time). 

THE FIRST PERIOD (b.c. 2852-206) 
The Age of the Five Rulers 

The first Period may be said to begin with what is known 
as the Age of the Five Rulers. 

The Chinese regard Fu Hsi, a mythical ruler, as the 
founder of their history (b.c. 2852). He is said to have 
resided near the modern Kaifeng in Honan, and to have 
taught the people to fish with nets, to rear domestic animals, 
and to use the lute and lyre ; to have instituted laws of 
marriage, and to have invented a system of writing by using 
picture symbols. 

He was succeeded by Shen Nung, another mythical 
ruler (b.c. 2737), who instructed the people in the art of 
agriculture, and in the use of herbs for medicine. 

Later, Hwang Ti (b.c. 2697) became ruler, and to him is 
ascribed the formation of the Chinese calendar, and the 
introduction of the rearing of the silkworm. 

The great ruler, Yao (b.c. 2356), is regarded as the 
fourth of the Five Rulers, and he with the two following rulers, 
Shun and Yii, formed a trio immortalised in the writings 


of Confucius and Mencius. The time in which they lived is 
regarded by the Chinese as the Golden Age of their history, 
and they have been held up to succeeding generations as 
models of wisdom and virtue. 

During the reign of Yao occurred a serious national 
calamity. This was the great flood caused by the over- 
flow of the Yellow River. A large tract of country was 
submerged, and the people were reduced to great misery. 
Yao appointed Shun as his associate in the government, 
and the latter recommended Yii as the one man capable 
of devising some means for saving the country from the 
disaster. Yii, by constructing a system of canals, finally 
succeeded in draining off the waters and reclaiming the 
soil for cultivation. For this achievement his memory 
has always been held in the highest esteem. 

Yao handed down the government to Shun (b.c. 2255- 
2205), and he, in turn, to Yii, who founded the first of the 
regular Chinese dynasties, known as the Hsia. 

These early rulers of China were chieftains of a tribe 
rather than rulers of a kingdom. It was only as their 
territory became more extensive that their functions became 
regal in character, and the system of government more 
highly organised. At first the succession to the throne 
was not necessarily hereditary, but the sceptre was passed 
on to the one deemed best fitted to wield it. 

The Hsia Dynasty (b.c. 2205-1766) 

The Hsia Dynasty is the first of the long line of dynasties 
which have succeeded one after the other for nearly four 
thousand years. 

In the West a change of dynasty is generally caused 
by a line becoming extinct, through the failure of direct 
descendants to the throne. Not so is the case in China. 
Here the change comes as the result of the overthrow of a 
dynasty whose rulers have become effete and incapable of 
giving the country a firm and vigorous rule. In no other 
country have rebellions been more frequent than in China. 

A superficial view of its history might lead us to suppose 


that it was a monotonous repetition of dynasties rising to 
the zenith of their power, then entering upon a period of 
decline, and finally succumbing to some successful conqueror. 
There is more, however, in Chinese history than this, and we 
shall be able to note certain steps of advance and develop- 
ment as the years roll on. 

The Hsia Dynasty was unfortunate in its later rulers, 
and was finally overthrown by the first successful rebellion 
in China, headed by Tang, the Prince of Shang, who estab- 
lished the Second Dynasty, known as 

The Shang or Yin Dynasty (b.c. 1766-1122) 

Tang was one of the most illustrious rulers of China, 
and his virtues are commemorated in the ancient books. 
The best known story in regard to him is that which describes 
his offering himself as a sacrifice on behalf of his people. 
During his reign a great drought occurred, and, as is the case 
with all natural calamities in China, it was regarded as a 
visitation of Heaven for the transgressions of the people. 
The Emperor clad himself in the garb of a penitent, and pro- 
ceeding to the place of sacrifice, confessed his shortcomings, 
and besought Heaven to visit upon him, " the solitary man," 
the punishment due to those over whom he ruled. Accord- 
ing to tradition his death was not required, for no sooner 
had he offered his supplications than copious rain began 
to fall, refreshing the parched land, and bringing joy to 
the hearts of the people. 

Owing to laxity of life on the part of his successors his 
dynasty was overthrown by Wu Wang, the Duke of Chow, 
who founded the 

Chow Dynasty (b.c. 1122-255) 

In the Chow Dynasty we come to the development of 
the feudal system of government in China. The founder 
of the dynasty rewarded those who assisted him in his 
conquest by assigning to them portions of his territory to 
rule over, and conferring upon them titles corresponding 


to Duke, Marquis, Count, Earl, and Baron. In course of 
time these subordinate rulers became powerful feudatory 
princes, and assumed the rank of Kings. Throughout the 
whole of this period the vassal chieftains encroached upon 
the rights and prerogatives of the chief ruler, and we have 
a condition of affairs corresponding to that which existed 
in Europe in the Middle Ages. 

During the Chow Dynasty lived the three famous 
teachers, Laotze, Confucius, and Mencius, their appearance 
synchronising fairly closely with that of Socrates, Plato, 
and Aristotle in the West. 

Laotze was the first in point of time, being born about 
B.C. 604 in the eastern part of the modern province of Honan. 
His name literally means " the old teacher," and is derived 
from the fact that, according to tradition, he had the appear- 
ance of an old man at his birth. His system of philosophy is 
mystical in nature, his aim being to lead men to live in har- 
mony with " Tao," the great absolute, impersonal principle 
which is the source of all things and immanent in all things. 
The authorship of the philosophical treatise known as the 
" Tao-te-king " is generally ascribed to him, and one of the 
religious cults in China, Taoism, claims him as its founder. 

Confucius, the greatest of the three, was born B.C. 551, 
in the feudal state of Lu, situated in the southern part of 
the modern province of Shantung. He was employed in 
various capacities in the government by the Duke of Lu, 
but spent a large part of his time in collecting and editing 
the writings of the ancients, and in imparting a knowledge 
of them to his pupils. We really owe to his labors all we 
know about the ancient history of China. 

Because the Duke of Lu would not put his precepts into 
practice, he left his native state and wandered about for a 
long period, visiting the courts of the various feudal rulers, 
seeking some one who would follow his teaching, which he 
believed could alone lead a kingdom to prosperity. He 
died B.C. 479, and about two centuries afterwards became 
recognised as the great sage of China. The books edited 
by him became the text-books used in all the schools, and 


his influence in moulding the present civilisation of China 
has been enormous. For over two thousand years he has 
exercised the supreme control over the minds and hearts 
of his countrymen. 

Mencius was also a native of the state of Lu, being born 
B.C. 372. He did much to raise the teachings of Confucius 
to a position of honor. In some ways he was a more 
daring and original thinker than the one he delighted to 
call his master, for Confucius only claimed to be a trans- 
mitter and not an originator. Nevertheless Mencius has 
never superseded the great sage in the estimation of his 
countrymen, but has always been relegated to the second 
place of honor. 

To return to the political history : in the latter part of 
the Chow Dynasty, the state of Tsin became powerful enough 
to obtain complete control over the other feudatory states, 
and then one of its dukes seized the throne and established 
the dynasty known as 

The Tsin (b.c. 221) 

The word China is probably derived from the name of 
this dynasty. The first Westerners to become acquainted 
with the Chinese spoke of them as the people of the land of 
Tsin, and this was later corrupted into " China." The 
Chinese themselves generally refer to their country as " the 
Middle Kingdom." 

The great ruler of the Tsin Dynasty was Shih Hwang- 
ti (b.c. 221-209), often called Tsin Shih-hwang. He was 
the first sovereign in China to assume the title Hwang-ti, 
or Emperor, which has always been used since his time to 
designate the chief ruler. 

The important task accomplished by him was the con- 
solidation of China, the centralisation of its government, 
and the reform of the currency and measures. He abolished 
the feudal system, and brought all parts of the country 
under his own rule. After effecting this change he divided 
the Empire into thirty-six provinces, setting over each three 


officers who were directly responsible to himself for the way 
in which they conducted their government. The extent 
of his Empire was from Chihli in the north to the Yangtze 
River in the south, and from the Yellow Sea on the east to 
Szechwan on the west. In broad outlines the government 
of China at the present day is similar to that instituted by 
Tsin Shih-hwang. 

During his reign an attempt was made to destroy the 
classical literature, all the books that could be found being 
gathered together and burnt. On account of this high- 
handed measure, his name has ever since been execrated 
by the Chinese scholars. The motive prompting him to 
such a course was his desire that a new regime should begin 
with himself. He wished to obliterate the feudal system 
from the memory of his people, and to counteract the 
conservative tendencies fostered by the teachings of the 
classics. The attempt was only partially successful, and 
after a short lapse of time the ancient literature was 
restored to the place of honor it has held ever since. 

It was also during his reign that the enormous wall on 
the northern frontiers of the Empire was greatly extended. 
It stretches now from 120 to ioo° E. longitude, for 
a distance of over 1,500 miles, and is one of the most 
astonishing engineering feats accomplished by human 
labor during antiquity. Much of the wall still remains 
in good condition, and all who visit it are surprised by its 
massiveness r and marvel at the difficulties surmounted in 
its construction. It was erected to serve as a barrier against 
the marauding raids of the wild Tartar tribes on the north, 
now becoming a constant menace to the Empire. 

THE SECOND PERIOD (b.c. 206-A.D. 1644) 

The Tsin Dynasty passed away after a short existence 
of some fifteen years, owing to a civil rebellion that resulted 
in giving the throne to Liu Pang, the Prince of Han, who 
established the fifth of the Chinese dynasties. 


The Han (b.c. 206-A.D. 25) 

This, in a sense, may be considered as the first national 
dynasty, for even to the present day the Chinese, with the 
exception of the Cantonese, frequently refer to themselves 
as " the sons of Han." 

It was at this period that the wild tribes in the north 
began to make more frequent incursions into the Empire, 
and the long conflict between them and the Chinese began. 
The struggle, as we shall see, was carried on with various 
intervals of peace, and with alternate success and disaster 
to the Chinese, for eighteen centuries, until finally China was 
conquered by the Manchus in a.d. 1644. 

The first tribe to disturb the peace of the Empire was the 
Hiung-nu, whose home was in Mongolia. They were of the 
same stock as the Huns, who later, under the leadership of 
Attila in a.d. 445, became the scourge of Europe. The 
Chinese Emperors were obliged to purchase immunity from 
their attack by agreeing to pay an annual subsidy of silks, 
rice, and wine. 

During the Han Dynasty the boundaries of the Empire 
were further enlarged (see Map). On the west was added 
the territory now comprised in the province of Kansu, and 
on the south that comprised in Hunan, Kiangsi, Kweichow, 
Kwangsi, and Kwangtung. 

The northern part of Korea was subjugated, the expedi- 
tion into that country being undertaken for the purpose of 
erecting a buffer state on the north-east, to prevent the 
Hiung-nu from finding an entrance into China from that 

This extension of territory brought China into com- 
munication with Western countries, and at that time some 
intercourse was held between China and Parthia, Meso- 
potamia, Bactria, Afghanistan, and India. The Roman 
Empire seems to have been known to the Chinese, being 
referred to by the name of Tsin. 

During the latter part of the Han Dynasty the country 
was plunged into civil war. This was due to the weakness 

Based upon a map in "China, Her History, Diplomacy and Commerce," by E. H. Parker. 
London, 1901, John Murray. With permission of the publisher. 


of the last Emperors, and to the consequent seizing of the 
Imperial power successively by the three great traitors of 
Chinese history, Wang Mang, Tung Cho, and Tsao Tsao. 
It resulted in the disintegration of the Empire, and the 
period is known in history as that of 

The Three Kingdoms (a.d. 221-265) 

The Three Kingdoms were Wei, comprising the central 
and northern provinces ; the Kingdom of Wu, consisting of 
the provinces south of the Yangtze River (modern Hunan, 
Hupeh, Kiangsi, Kiangsu, and Chekiang) ; and the Kingdom 
of Shu, including the western part of the Empire, the modern 
province of Szechwan. These kingdoms waged incessant 
war with one another, the ruler of each claiming to be the 
rightful heir to the throne. 

Finally, the Kingdom of Wei proved victorious, and one 
of the successful generals established a new dynasty known 
as the Western Tsin (a.d. 265-317). This dynasty was, 
however, but of short duration, owing to the fact that the 
Tartars, taking advantage of the disturbed condition of the 
country, made themselves masters of all the northern part 
of China, carrying the Emperor away into captivity. An 
attempt was made to carry on the dynasty in the south, 
where it assumed the title of the Eastern Tsin (a.d. 317-420) ; 
but at last the Tsin Emperor was deposed by Liu Yu, one 
of the generals of the Imperial army, who founded a new 
dynasty called the Sung (a.d. 420-479). 

This brings us to the first division of the Empire between 
the Chinese and the Tartars, and is known as 

The Epoch of the Division between the North and 
the South (a.d. 420-589) 

The Yangtze River formed the dividing line, all to the 
north being in the possession of the Tartar chieftains. The 
Chinese were obliged to make their capital at Nanking, and 
a constant struggle was carried on between them and the 


The history of the Sung, and the succeeding short-lived 
dynasties — the Tsi (a.d. 479-502), the Liang (a.d. 502-557), 
the Chen (a.d. 557-589), and the Sui (a.d. 589-619) — is 
chiefly occupied with this conflict, and the whole Empire 
was not again under the rule of a Chinese Emperor until the 
establishment of the 

Tang Dynasty (a.d. 618-907) 

This was one of the most illustrious periods in Chinese 
history. Its great Emperor, Tai-tsung, did much to 
enhance the prestige of the Empire. He remodelled his 
army, so that he had a force at his command powerful enough 
to defeat and hold in check the northern barbarians. He 
encouraged literature and learning, and built an enormous 
library at his capital in Changan in Shensi, consisting of 
200,000 volumes. He was devoted to the Confucian classics, 
and to him is ascribed the saying, " that Confucius is to the 
Chinese what the water is to the fish." 

The boundaries of the Empire were further extended to 
the south, and it was divided up anew into ten provinces. 

In the year 630 embassies from a large number of vassal 
states presented themselves at the capital to offer tribute, 
and the variety of languages spoken by these envoys, and 
the diversity of their costumes, attested to the growing 
power of the Chinese Empire. 

During the Tang Dynasty, for a time, a woman of 
exceptional ability and force of character exercised the 
imperial prerogatives. This was the Empress Wu Hou, one 
of the wives of the Emperor Kao-tsung. She ruled con- 
jointly with him, and after his death, as Empress Dowager 
during the reign of his son Chung-tsung, completely domi- 
nated the Empire (a.d. 684-705). She invested herself in the 
Imperial robes, and offered the sacrifices that of right could 
only be offered by the Emperor. Even after she was forced 
to retire on account of old age, she was still regarded with 
awe, and retained the title of " the great and sacred Em- 
press." The Chinese have strict ideas in regard to the 
impropriety of a woman ruling the Empire, and future 


generations have vied with one another in heaping obloquy 
on the name of the Empress Wu Hou. 

During her reign occurred an invasion of a Tartar tribe, 
the Khitan, who lived in the north of Shensi. This was a 
precursor of expeditions that were to become more and 
more frequent as time passed on. 

After the retirement of the Empress Wu Hou, the Tang 
Dynasty began to decline, the succeeding Emperors being, 
for the most part, weak in character, and the peace of the 
Empire being, in consequence, frequently disturbed by 
internal rebellions. 

The Tang Dynasty lasted altogether for 289 years, and, as 
many celebrated historians and poets lived during that period, 
may be regarded as the Augustan Age of Chinese literature. 

Among the noteworthy events that took place while it 
held sway over China, may be mentioned the further con- 
quest of Korea in a.d. 667. 

The King of Korea was forced to become a vassal of 
China, and his territory was divided up into five provinces, 
Chinese and native officials being appointed to rule over 
them conjointly. Korea remained a vassal state of China 
until the recent China- Japan war in 1894. 

The Nestorian missionaries from Persia carried on their 
propaganda in China during this period. They seem to 
have met at first with success, and to have been regarded 
with considerable favor. By imperial sanction a tablet 
recording the tenets of their Church was erected near the 
city of Sianfu. 

As an evidence that the Chinese have always regarded 
the Tang Dynasty with feelings of pride is the fact that one 
of the names by which they call themselves, especially in 
the South, is " the men of Tang." 

After the Tang Dynasty, we come to what in Chinese 
history is called 

The Epoch of the Five Dynasties (a.d. 907-960) 

Five brief dynasties, the Later Liang, the Later Tang, 
the Later Tsin, the Later Han, and the Later Chow, followed 


one another in rapid succession. It was really a period of 
military despotism. The generals prominent in the struggles 
with the northern tribes became the most powerful men in 
the Empire, and, like the Roman generals during the later 
period of the Roman Empire, used their power to usurp the 
throne and to invest themselves in the Imperial robes. 
With the establishment of 

The Sung Dynasty (a.d. 960-1280) 

the period of disunion was temporarily brought to a close, 
but before long a more formidable danger threatened the 
Empire. This was the growing power of the Kin or Nii- 
Chen Tartars. From the meaning of the word Kin, they 
are sometimes referred to as " the Golden Horde." They 
began their attacks upon the Empire in a.d. 1125, and 
succeeded in gaining possession of the capital, at that time 
situated at Kaifeng in Honan, and in forcing the Emperor 
to pay tribute. Before long the whole of the northern part 
of the Empire had passed into their hands, and just as before 
in a.d. 424 there had been a division of the Imperial territory 
between the Chinese and the Tartars, so now the Empire 
was broken up into two parts, the Sung Dynasty only re- 
taining the south. The capital was removed to Nanking 
and afterwards to Hangchow, and incessant war was waged 
between the North and South. The Kin were never able 
to effect a complete conquest of the Empire, but they re- 
duced the Southern Empire to the direst extremities. 

In the year 1135, the Mongols, destined to accomplish 
that which the Kin attempted but failed to do, made their 
appearance on the northern frontiers. Their original home 
was a strip of territory between the Onon and Kerulon 
Rivers in the district south-east of Lake Baikal. 

Under Genghis Khan (a.d. 1162) they began their 
marvellous career of conquest. This remarkable man first 
consolidated the Mongol Confederacy, and then proceeded 
to overrun the north of China, completely defeating the 
Kin and the other Tartar tribes who opposed his progress. 

In 1 2 13 three expeditions were dispatched for the purpose 


of conquering Eastern Asia, the first being under the com- 
mand of Genghis himself. All three were successful, and 
the territory as far as the Shantung peninsula was entirely 

Next, expeditions were sent out for the conquest of 
Western Asia. They overran the territory to the south-east 
of China, pierced the mountain passes of the Himalayas, won 
a great victory on the banks of the Indus, and penetrated 
into Eastern Europe, destroying many of the cities of 
Russia. All the places conquered by the armies of Genghis 
Khan were razed to the ground and the inhabitants put to 
the sword. 

Genghis Khan was succeeded in 1229 by his son Ogotai, 
who continued his father's glorious career of conquest. He 
conducted an expedition into the heart of Europe, over- 
running Russia, Hungary, and Poland. 

Upon the rise of the Mongols, the Emperor of the 
Southern Sung Dynasty, Li-tsung (a.d. 1225-1265), entered 
into an alliance with their chief, offering his assistance 
against the much hated Kin. The offer was accepted, and 
when the Kin had been subdued, the Chinese naturally 
considered they were entitled to a part of the spoils, and 
proposed to reoccupy their old capital at Kaifeng. The 
Mongols, who had only made use of the Chinese as long as it 
suited their own convenience, objected to this course, and 
ordered them to evacuate Honan. Upon the Chinese 
refusing to comply with this command, war was declared, 
and the conquest of China was begun. 

The chief part in the conquest of China was played by 
Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis. His armies overran 
all the territory in the south occupied by the Sungs, and 
the last Emperor was obliged to flee to the Island of Yaishan, 
south of Canton. The harbor of the town to which he had 
retreated was blockaded by the Mongol fleet, and finally, 
to avoid falling into the hands of his enemies, the Emperor 
and the Imperial family committed suicide by throwing 
themselves into the sea. 

Thus, for the first time in Chinese history, China was 


wholly conquered by the Northerners, and brought under 
a Tartar Emperor. 

The Yuan Dynasty (a.d. 1260-1368) 

When Kublai Khan (a.d. 1260-1295) became ruler of 
the whole of China, he established the Yuan Dynasty. The 
word Yuan means " original," and was chosen by him as 
the designation of his dynasty to indicate that he instituted 
a fresh beginning. 

The Mongols were politic in their treatment of the con- 
quered, and conformed to their civilisation. This has always 
been characteristic in regard to the Tartar conquests of 
China. As has been said, China is " a sea that salts all 
waters that flow into it." The Tartars have never imposed 
their inferior civilisation on the Chinese, but have assimi- 
lated themselves to those they conquered until it became 
difficult to distinguish between the two peoples. 

Kublai Khan's thirst for conquest was not sated by his 
annexation of China. An attempt was made against Japan, 
which failed ignominiously, the Mongols being no match 
for the seafaring people of the Island Empire. 

In the south, Annam was forced to become a tributary 
state, and remained nominally a vassal of China until, in 
our own day, it became a dependency of France (Annam in 
1864, Tonkin in 1885). 

A campaign against Burma proved successful, and the 
Burmese were forced to pay tribute. 

It was during the reign of Kublai Khan that J:he cele- 
brated Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, visited China (1271). 
By his long sojourn in the country he learnt much about 
Chinese civilisation, and upon his return to Europe he 
enlightened the people of the West in regard to what had 
been to them, up to that time, a sealed country. 

One of the great public works carried out under the 
instructions of Kublai was the improvement of the Grand 
Canal between Hangchow and Tientsin. It is about a 
thousand miles long, and still forms one of the chief water- 
ways of the Empire. It was begun as long ago as B.C. 489. 


The extent of the Empire at this time was greater than 
ever before. The Mongol Emperors ruled over the vast 
population occupying the territory between the shores of 
the Black Sea and the Yellow Sea, and between Northern 
Mongolia and the frontiers of Annam. 

During the latter part of the Yuan Dynasty rebellions 
became frequent, and numerous secret societies sprang into 
existence, having as their chief object the overthrow of the 
Mongol government. 

Chu Yuan-chang (born a.d. 1355), who had spent his 
early life in a Buddhist monastery, inspired by the spirit of 
patriotism, put off his priest's robes and became the leader 
of a successful band of insurgents. He finally managed to 
overthrow the Yuan Dynasty and establish himself upon 
the throne. He inaugurated the Ming Dynasty, and thus 
China once again came under the rule of a native sovereign. 

We can only account for the decline of the power of the 
Mongols on the ground that, as they adopted Chinese 
civilisation, they lost much of their martial spirit, and 
became more or less enervated and demoralised. 

The Ming Dynasty (a.d. 1368-1644) 

The first part of this period was occupied with struggles 
with the Mongols, who naturally made desperate attempts 
to regain what they had lost. The Mings, however, were 
able to make their possession sure, and gained control over 
the whole of the country. 

In 15 1 1 the first European traders made their appearance 
in China. A Portuguese trader, Raphael Perestrello, with 
a small fleet of ships, arrived off the coast of Canton, and 
six years later Fernando Peres de Andrade entered the 
Canton River with his vessels, and asked for the privilege 
of opening commercial intercourse. He was favorably 
received by the Chinese officials, and was allowed to proceed 
to Peking and reside at the Court. This auspicious be- 
ginning was doomed to a speedy eclipse, for a short time 
afterwards a second Portuguese fleet, under the command 
of de Andrade's brother Simon, arrived in Chinese waters ; 


and when he did not obtain the freedom of commercial 
intercourse that he expected, his followers committed many 
acts of depredation along the coast from Foochow to Ningpo. 
This roused the animosity of the Chinese, and led to acts of 
retaliation on their part, many of the Portuguese being 
massacred, and Fernando de Andrade being put to death. 

These Portuguese adventurers did but little to promote 
amicable relations between the Chinese and the Western 
world. The Chinese regarded them with suspicion and 
fear, and they, in turn, resorted to force to obtain what they 
wanted (see Chapter IX. "Foreign Trade"). These first 
impressions of foreign merchants were not calculated to 
make the Chinese desirous of entering into closer commercial 
relations with the West. 

During the reign of Wanli (a.d. 1573-1620) the Spaniards 
made their appearance in the East. They made a settlement 
in the Philippine Islands, which they held until the recent 
Spanish-American W T ar. The Chinese emigrated in large 
numbers to Manila, the capital of the islands. The 
Spaniards became fearful lest these colonists should become 
too numerous, and instituted a massacre of them in which 
some 20,000 were slain. This barbarous action doubtless 
had the effect of lowering the prestige of the Westerner 
many degrees in the estimation of the Chinese. 

In 1622 the Dutch made an unsuccessful attempt to 
gain a footing on the Pescadores Islands. They were driven 
out by the Chinese and retired to Formosa, where they 
erected two trading forts, one at the north and one at the 
south end of the island. Here they carried on trade with 
China until they were expelled by the famous pirate chief, 

During the Ming Dynasty, the great Jesuit missionary, 
St. Francis Xavier, attempted to gain an entrance for the 
preaching of Christianity into China. He himself was never 
permitted to take up his residence on the mainland, but his 
successors, Michael Roger and Matteo Ricci, were allowed 
to settle in the Kwangtung province. Later on, these 
Jesuits, through their knowledge of Mathematics, Astronomy, 


and Mechanics, gained considerable influence at the Court of 

Altogether the Ming Dynasty lasted nearly three hundred 
years, and then fell before the inroads of the Manchus. The 
latter were a clan of Tartars, living to the east of the city of 
Moukden. They were incited to attack the Chinese because 
the Emperor, Wanli, espoused the cause of a certain chief- 
tain, named Nikan, the principal adversary of the Manchu 
ruler, Nurhachu. In 1618 Nurhachu invaded the Liaotung 
Peninsula with a large force, and put to rout the Chinese 
army sent to oppose his progress. When the Manchus took 
the city of Liaoyang they forced the Chinese inhabitants 
to shave the front part of their heads and to adopt the 
queue. This is the first instance of the adoption of this 
style of head-dress in China. 

The Manchus were unable to take the city of Ningyuan, 
which they attacked on their march towards the Great 
Wall. It was ably defended by the Chinese, who made 
good use of cannon brought from Macao. 

While this dreaded foe was attacking China from the 
north, the country was, unfortunately, rent by civil dis- 
sension. Two rebels, Li Tze-ching and Chang Hsien- 
chung, starting from Shansi and Shensi, overran a large 
part of the Empire, and the former, elated by his success, 
assumed the title of Emperor and advanced on Peking. 
The last Emperor of the Mings, Chwang Lieh-ti, in despair, 
committed suicide, and the city fell into the hands of the 

Li Tze-ching's triumph was, however, but of short 
duration, for a Chinese General, Wu San-kwei, determined 
to avenge the death of his Sovereign and to prevent the 
country's coming under the rule of the rebels. To effect 
this object he entered into an alliance with the Manchus, 
who were only too glad to obtain an opportunity of inter- 
fering in the affairs of China. Wu San-kwei, with the 
assistance of the Manchus, gained a decisive victory over 
the forces of the rebels. While he was absent from Peking 
on the pursuit of the rebel army, the Manchu Regent, 


Durgan, entered Peking in triumph, and in accordance with 
the agreement entered into with Wu San-kwei, placed his 
nephew on the Imperial throne of China, thus inaugurating 
the present dynasty, the Tsing, in 1644. 

Although the Chinese in the north submitted to the 
Manchus, those of the south for fifteen years maintained 
a desperate struggle to continue the Ming Dynasty. At 
last, however, they were compelled to bow to the inevitable, 
and the whole Empire for a second time passed under the 
rule of the Northerners, in whose hands it has remained up 
to the present time. 

The Manchus made but few changes in the government 
of the country, and soon adapted themselves to the civilisa- 
tion of China. They compelled the Chinese all over the 
Empire to adopt the queue as a badge of subjection, and 
they were careful to station garrisons of Manchu troops 
at various important centres to guard against any sudden 
uprising. In Peking they kept up the organisation of the 
eight great Banner corps of Manchu troops. 

In a few decades the new regime was thoroughly estab- 
lished, and the Chinese seemed to forget they were under a 
foreign rule. 



In the last chapter we gave a brief review of the first two 
periods of Chinese history. The Tsing Dynasty introduces 
a new element and brings us to the 

THIRD PERIOD (a.d. 1644 to the present time) 

The re-shaping of the old civilisation through intercourse 
with Western nations 

It has been customary to refer to China as the " fixed 
type," and to prophesy that change in her government or 
form of civilisation was an impossibility. Recent events 
have once more proved how unsafe it is to indulge in political 
forecasts respecting the future of nations. Radical changes 
have already been effected in China, as the result of the 
pressure brought to bear upon her by outside influences. 
In order to preserve her national integrity, she has been 
forced to adopt important reforms, and to introduce many 
foreign elements into her civilisation. 

This, however, has only been accomplished slowly, and 
has come about through a long series of frictions and con- 
tests with Western nations. 

The Reign of Kanghi (1662-1723) 

As early as the reign of Kanghi, the second of the 
Manchu Emperors, two European embassies arrived at 
Peking for the purpose of opening up commercial relations 

* Written by the Rev. F. L. Hawks Pott, D.D. 


with China. One came overland from Russia by way of 
Siberia, and the other by sea from Holland. Neither was 
successful in obtaining the privileges sought, for the Chinese, 
largely on account of their long isolation from the rest 
of the world, considered themselves superior to all other 
nations, and would not consent to treat on terms of equality 
with their representatives. This for a long time was the 
source of many misunderstandings. For instance, when 
the Chinese demanded from foreign envoys, who one after 
another made their appearance at Peking, the performance 
of the ceremony of the Kotow, all, with the exception of the 
Dutch, resolutely refused to comply with the request, on 
the ground that it would imply that the countries from 
which they came stood to China in the relation of tributary 
or vassal nations. Although the Dutch yielded the point 
and performed the ceremony, they derived but little benefit 
from their obsequiousness. 

In 1689 the Chinese came into collision with the Russians. 
The latter had built a fort at Albazin, on the upper course 
of the Amur River, and the Chinese regarded this as an 
encroachment upon their territory. The fort was destroyed, 
and some of the Russian garrison were carried off as prisoners 
to Peking. 

By the treaty of Nerchinsk, made in 1689 (the first treaty 
entered into between China and a European nation), it was 
agreed that the Amur River should be regarded as the 
boundary line between the two adjacent Empires, and that 
the Russians should have the right of erecting a fort at 

In 1719 Peter the Great of Russia sent a second embassy 
to China. This was received more favorably than the first, 
the ceremony of the kotow not being insisted upon. When, 
however, a few years later, a caravan arrived for the purpose 
of opening up trade between the two nations, a change had 
taken place in the temper of the court, and it was declared 
that all trade relations between the two countries must be 
confined to the frontiers. 

In the early part of his reign, Kanghi had treated the 


Roman Catholic missionaries with considerable favor, 
but later, owing to a dispute that arose concerning the 
Chinese translation for the word " God," and the adoption 
by the missionaries of the term approved by the Pope, in 
opposition to the one favored by the Emperor, the good 
will of the latter was forfeited. The Chinese jealously 
resented the appeal to an authority outside their own 

The literary activity during the reign of Kanghi was 
very great, for during this time were published the standard 
dictionary of the Chinese characters, compiled by a com- 
mission of scholars appointed by the Emperor, and also 
a huge encyclopedia, consisting of 6,026 volumes. The 
famous sixteen maxims, known as the Sacred Edict, were 
composed by the Emperor ; these were afterwards expanded 
and annotated by his son Yung Cheng, and from that time 
to this have been expounded monthly in the city temples 
to the common people. 

The Reigns of Yung Cheng and Kienlung (1723-1796) 

Kanghi was succeeded by his son Yung Cheng (1723), 
during whose reign Russian and Portuguese embassies 
visited the capital, and were granted an Audience. 

In 1736 Kienlung ascended the throne. Although, 
during his reign, there was much disorder in the Empire, yet 
there were also many conquests of importance. Frequent 
rebellions broke out and were put down with considerable 
difficulty. A serious outbreak, leading to the annexation 
of Eastern Turkestan, occurred in Mongolia. A war was 
carried on with Burma, resulting in the Burmese entering 
into an agreement to pay a triennial tribute to the Court 
at Peking. This was henceforth regularly paid until 
Burma was annexed by the British Government. Trouble 
also arose in Tibet, due to the Gurkhas from Nipal inter- 
fering in the government of the country. An army was 
dispatched into Tibet, and the Gurkhas were driven out and 
forced to acknowledge the sovereignty of China. 


In 1763 occurred the return to the Chinese Empire of a 
Tartar tribe called the Turgut, an event graphically de- 
scribed by the English writer De Quincy. During the out- 
break in Mongolia this tribe had migrated from their original 
home and settled in Russian territory near the Volga River. 
Owing to the harsh treatment to which they were subjected 
by the Russians they determined to make their escape. 
On their flight back they experienced untold hardships, 
being pursued by the Cossacks and attacked by the wild 
tribes through whose territory they had to pass. Out of 
160,000 who started on the expedition only a very small 
remnant finally reached their destination. 

Beginnings of Commercial Relations between 
England and China 

As early as 1635, during the reign of Charles I., a charter 
had been granted to some English merchants to form a 
company to promote commerce with China, and as the result 
of the royal grant Captain Weddell sailed for the East with 
a small fleet of vessels. The Portuguese, who had made a 
settlement at Macao, and who were anxious to keep the 
trade with China for themselves, did all they could to place 
obstacles in the way of this expedition. They so mis- 
represented matters to the Chinese authorities that, when 
the English fleet was passing the Bogue Forts, on the way up 
the Canton River, a Chinese battery suddenly opened fire 
upon it. The British ships retaliated, and after silencing 
the guns of the battery, landed a party of sailors, took 
possession of the forts, and hoisted their flag. This display 
of force induced the Chinese to grant the right to trade, and 
a cargo was obtained by the English ships. After this, trade 
was gradually developed between China and England, but 
it was hampered by many restrictions, very heavy import 
and export duties being charged. 

During the reign of the Emperor 1793, while 
George III. was King of England, Lord Macartney was sent 
to visit the Emperor in Peking. He was received with 


courtesy, but the real attitude of the Chinese was shown by 
the fact that the boat upon which he was conveyed to Peking 
bore an inscription on its flag signifying that he was a tribute- 
bearer from England. On his journey from Tientsin to 
Peking the question was raised as to his willingness to per- 
form the kotow. This he positively refused to do unless 
a Chinese official of equal rank with himself would perform 
a similar obeisance to a portrait of George III. Finally the 
point was waived, and he was permitted to have two inter- 
views with the Emperor, not however at Peking, but in the 
garden of the palace at Jehol. Consent was given to the 
English to carry on trade at Canton, on condition that they 
submitted to the regulations imposed by the provincial 

In the reign of the following Emperor, Kia King (1796- 
1820), the English Government sent another embassy to 
China under Lord Amherst (1816). When he arrived at 
Tungchow, on his way to the capital, he received word that 
the Emperor would see him in the Summer Palace outside 
of Peking, and that he was to hasten there with all dispatch. 
As soon as he had completed the journey he was summoned 
to an audience. Lord Amherst rather impolitically pleaded 
fatigue, and the non-arrival of his baggage containing his 
court dress, and begged to have the audience postponed. 
This roused the resentment of the Emperor, who immediately 
refused to hold any further negotiations with him, and curtly 
ordered him to return to Canton. Thus the mission ended 
in a humiliating failure. 

From the reign of Charles I., trade with China on the 
part of England had been in the hands of the East India 
Company. This monopoly came to an end in 1834, and 
then the British Government decided to put the trade with 
China on a different footing. Accordingly, Lord Napier 
was appointed as commercial representative of the British 
Government in China. 

Hitherto all commercial transactions had been carried 
on by the English through a committee of native merchants 
known as the Co-Hong, and with the Hoppo, a commissioner 


appointed from Peking as superintendent of foreign 

When Lord Napier arrived at Canton, the Chinese re- 
fused to recognise him. They preferred for many reasons 
to carry on trade in the old way, and they were unwilling 
to permit Lord Napier to begin a new course of procedure 
by dealing directly with the Viceroy of Kwangtung and 
Kwangsi, whose capital was at Shiuhing, instead of with 
the Co-Hong. This brought matters to a deadlock between 
the Chinese and British merchants, and for a time an em- 
bargo was placed upon all foreign trade. After the foreigners 
had been confined in their factories and relations had become 
most strained, two British men-of-war were sent up the 
river, to protect the factories, and secure the safety of 
English lives and property. Lord Napier soon afterwards 
retired to Macao, where, his health having been seriously 
impaired by the anxiety through which he had passed, he 
shortly afterwards expired. As soon as he left Canton, the 
Chinese, deeming they had carried their point, immediately 
resumed trade with the English through the old channel of 
the Co-Hong. 

In 1836 Captain Charles Elliot was commissioned by the 
British Government to take up the work of Lord Napier, 
but in his attempted negotiations with the Chinese autho- 
rities he met with no greater success than his predecessor. 

About this time the Chinese became seriously alarmed at 
what they considered one of the serious evils of foreign 
trade, namely, the seeming outflow of silver from the 
country. This was especially noticed in connection with 
the large sums spent on opium. The commerce in this drug 
had never been legalised by the Chinese Government, and 
increasing quantities were surreptitiously smuggled into 
the country. In the reign of Tao Kwang, the question of 
legalising or prohibiting the trade in opium was warmly 
debated at Peking, and it was finally decided to make de- 
termined efforts to abolish it, and to suppress the smuggling 
of the commodity into the country. 


First War with Great Britain (1840-1843) 

In 1839 Commissioner Lin Tze-sii was appointed to carry 
out the prohibition policy. He was a man of considerable 
force of character and of superior integrity, but at the same 
time very conservative in his views and opposed to the 
extension of foreign trade. Shortly after his arrival at 
Canton he demanded that all the opium in the possession of 
foreign merchants should be delivered up to him, without 
compensation, on the ground that it was contraband. In 
accordance with this request, at the direction of Captain 
Elliot, 20,291 chests of opium were handed over to the 
Chinese authorities, all of which was completely destroyed. 
The tension between the Chinese officials and the foreign 
merchants had now become so great that a collision became 
unavoidable. The giving up of the opium led to further 
demands, and the conditions imposed upon the foreigners 
became unbearable. This led to the first war between 
China and Great Britain, in 1840, which unfortunately is 
generally referred to by the Chinese as the Opium War. 
Although it is true that the British Government made the 
destruction of the opium a casus belli, yet, even if this had 
not occurred, the avoidance of hostilities would have been 
impossible. The real cause of the war was that the Chinese 
refused to treat on terms of' equality, either diplomatically 
or commercially; with foreigners, and the latter insisted on 
the right to be so treated. The war lasted for three years. 
The Chinese were worsted both on sea and land, but hos- 
tilities dragged on until after the arrival of Sir Henry 
Pottinger, who had been appointed to succeed Captain 
Charles Elliot. He had received instructions from the Home 
Government that he was not to make terms with the pro- 
vincial authorities, but directly with the Imperial Govern- 
ment. At the same time Sir William Parker was appointed 
to command the British fleet. By Sir Henry Pottinger's 
command the war was carried to the north. Amoy, 
Chinhai, Chapu, Ningpo, Wusung, and Shanghai were taken 
in quick succession, and then the British fleet sailed up the 


Yangtze and bombarded Chinkiang, an important city at 
the junction of the Yangtze and the Grand Canal. After 
some resistance this place was taken, and the fleet pro- 
ceeded to Nanking. When this city was reached, the 
Chinese submitted, and two Imperial Commissioners, Ilipu 
and Kiying, were instructed to enter into negotiations for 
peace. The first treaty between China and Great Britain, 
known as the Treaty of Nanking, was concluded on August 
29, 1842. Among the terms agreed to were the follow- 
ing : (1) Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo, and Shanghai 
were to be opened as Treaty Ports, where foreigners could 
reside and carry on trade ; (2) The island of Hongkong 
was to be ceded to Great Britain ; (3) An indemnity of 
$21,000,000 was to be paid, $6,000,000 of which was for the 
opium destroyed ; (4) Fair tariff rates were to be imposed 
at the Treaty Ports ; and (5) Official correspondence was to 
be carried on upon equal terms between the two nations. 
Shortly after this treaty had been ratified at Peking, similar 
treaties were made with China, first by the United States 
and then by France. 

The Taiping Rebellion (First Stage, 1850-1860) 

In 185 1 the Emperor Hienfeng ascended the Dragon 
Throne. During his reign broke out one of the greatest 
rebellions China has ever experienced. This was the 
Taiping Rebellion. The leader, Hung Hsiu-chuen, having 
obtained some knowledge of the Christian religion, had 
become a zealous opponent of idolatry. He established a 
society called the Shang Ti-hui— that is, the society for the 
worship of " the Almighty." At first the movement was 
of the nature of a religious crusade, and his followers went 
about the province of Kwangsi breaking down idols and 
destroying temples. The rising soon assumed a political 
aspect, and the members of the society declared open re- 
bellion against the reigning dynasty, taking as their rallying 
cry "the extermination of the Manchus." After some 
successes in Kwangsi, the rebels advanced into Hunan, and 


striking the Siang River, followed its course northward, 
sacking the cities along its banks. At Changsha, the capital 
of the province, they met with their first serious repulse, for 
this city was so ably defended by Tseng Kwo-fan that they 
were unable to take it even after a long siege. Abandoning 
the attempt they skirted the Tungting Lake, and entered 
the valley of the Yangtze. On the banks of the Great 
River they seized the cities Hanyang, Wuchang, Hankow, 
Anking, Kiukiang, and Nanking. The latter city was 
selected as the capital of a new dynasty to be known as the 
Taiping, a word signifying that their leader intended to 
establish the reign of peace on earth. Hung Hsiu-chuen 
himself assumed the title of Emperor, being called Tien 
Wang, or " Heavenly Monarch/' Four assistant kings were 
appointed to aid in governing the Empire, known respect- 
ively as the Kings of the North, South, East, and West. 
After this Hung himself no longer acted as the energetic 
leader of his hosts, but gave himself up to a life of ease and 

In 1853 an expedition was dispatched to the north in 
the hope of taking Peking. In their attack on Tientsin the 
rebels were repulsed by the Manchu General, Sankolinsin, 
and, disheartened by their defeat, began to withdraw to 
the south. At this juncture Li Hung-chang came into 
public notice. He raised an army in his own province of 
Anhwei, and began a series of vigorous attacks upon the 
rebels. Gradually the Imperial forces made headway 
against the rebels, and succeeded in hemming them in on 
that part of the Yangtze between Nanking and Anking. 

Second War with Great Britain (1856-1860) 

In the meantime relations between the Chinese and the 
British merchants in the south had not become any 
smoother. The British resented the way in which they 
were treated by the Chinese authorities, and the Chinese 
thought they had just cause of offence because, although 
the opium trade had been declared illicit, smuggling still 


continued, and was often carried on by ships called lorchas,* 
which secured the right of flying the British flag, by taking 
out licences in Hongkong. 

The immediate cause leading to hostilities was the case 
of the lorcha Arrow. This vessel, flying the British flag, 
during the absence of its captain, an Irishman, was boarded 
by some Chinese officials by order of the Viceroy Yeh, while 
lying at anchor off Whampoa. The flag was hauled down, 
and twelve of the Chinese crew were taken prisoners. 
Mr. Harry Parkes, who was then English Consul at Canton, 
demanded an apology for the insult to the flag, and the 
immediate return of the men. The Chinese authorities 
refused to comply with these demands. At first they gave 
as their reasons that the flag was not flying when the vessel 
was boarded, and that they had seized these men because 
they were noted criminals wanted by the Chinese Govern- 
ment. Later they stated that the ship had no right to be 
flying the British flag, as the time of its license had expired. 
This last statement was true, but it is generally believed 
that the expiry of the time of the license could not have 
been known to the Chinese at the time of the seizure of the 

A series of altercations grew out of the incident, and as 
neither party was willing to agree to a compromise, both 
prepared for war. 

In 1857 Lord Elgin was appointed High Commissioner 
for Great Britain, and transports, with 5,000 troops, 
were dispatched to China. This force was, however, diverted 
to India to assist in the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny 
in that country, and it was not until some months later 
that a British force arrived on the scene. 

The French Government, induced partly by a desire to 
obtain reparation for the massacre of a French missionary 
in Kwangsi, and partly by the spirit of Imperial aggrandise- 
ment that manifested itself so strongly when Napoleon III. 
was Emperor, decided to join forces with the British in 

* A lorcha is a light Chinese sailing-vessel, built somewhat after 
a European model, but rigged like a junk. 


bringing China to terms. When the forces of both nations 
had arrived, an attack was made on the city of Canton. It 
was taken, and for a time held by the foreign forces. 

The war was then carried to the north, and the allied 
fleets sailed to the mouth of the Peiho River. After the 
taking of the Taku Forts, there was nothing to hinder the 
advance on Tientsin. This led the Chinese to sue for terms 
of peace, and the Treaty of Tientsin was signed on June 26, 
1858. According to the terms of this treaty, (1) The 
British were to be allowed the right of appointing a Minister 
to reside at Peking ; (2) Newchwang, Formosa, Swatow, 
and Kiungchow were to be opened as additional Treaty 
Ports ; (3) The British were to have the privilege of trading 
on the Yangtze ; (4) An indemnity of 2,000,000 taels was 
to be paid ; and (5) The tariff was to be revised. At the 
same time a treaty was made between China and France, 
and the Chinese Government was obliged to agree to pay 
the same amount of indemnity to France as to England. 

In the following year, the question arose as to the place 
where the ratifications of these treaties were to be ex- 
changed. The British and French insisted upon Peking, 
as being named in the treaties, but the Chinese resolutely 
persisted in offering opposition. The British and French 
fleets proceeded to Tientsin, and finding the entrance to 
the river blocked by barriers consisting of long stakes 
bound together with heavy chains, decided to force an en- 
trance. While attempting to do this, they were fired upon 
by the Taku Forts, and compelled to retire after suffering 
considerable loss. 

The British and French were not long in seeking repara- 
tion for what they considered an act of treachery on the 
part of the Chinese, and a formidable expedition was fitted 
out, consisting of 20,000 men, of whom 13,000 were British 
and 7,000 French. This expedition landed to the north of 
the Taku Forts, and, to the surprise and consternation of 
the Chinese, delivered their attack from the land side. 
Although the Chinese made a desperate defence the forts 
were finally obliged to capitulate. The way being opened 


to Tientsin the fleet advanced up the river, and when no 
satisfactory terms could be arrived at, the allied forces set 
out for Peking. On the march, a message was received 
from the Manchu Prince, Tsai, proposing a conference at 
Tungchow. Parkes and Loch, with some other Englishmen 
and some Frenchmen, were sent to Tungchow to complete 
the final arrangements for the conference. While on this 
mission they were seized by the Chinese and sent as prisoners 
to Peking. Parkes and Loch were for a time confined in 
the prison used for the worst criminals, and subjected to 
much ill-treatment. The others were imprisoned within the 
precincts of the Summer Palace outside of Peking. 

The allied forces, as soon as they discovered that they 
had been duped by the Chinese, advanced on Peking. On 
the way two engagements were fought, one at Changkiawan, 
and one at Palikiao, in both of which the Chinese were put 
to flight. Before Peking was reached the Emperor fled to 
Jehol, leaving Prince Kung to enter into negotiations with 
the invaders. 

The British and French would consider no terms of peace 
until the prisoners had been returned. Finally, Parkes 
and Loch, and all who had survived their tortures, were set 
free. By way of reparation for the death of the others, the 
British and French envoys authorised the commanders to 
permit the destruction of the Summer Palace, which had 
already been looted by the French. In justification of this 
act they said, " the punishment was one which would fall 
not on the people, who were comparatively innocent, but 
exclusively on the Emperor, whose direct responsibility for 
the crime committed is established." 

The Treaty of Peking was signed October 22, i860, 
and the following terms were agreed to : (1) An indemnity 
of 8,000,000 taels was to be paid in lieu of the sum mentioned 
in the treaty of 1858 ; (2) Kowloon was to be ceded to 
the British Government ; and (3) Tientsin was to be 
opened as a Treaty Port. 

The French also demanded an indemnity of 8,000,000 
taels, and a special article provided for the restoration to 


the missions, through the intermediary of the French 
Minister, of the property for religious and philanthropic 
work which had been confiscated during the persecutions. 
To the Chinese text of the article was added a clause : "It 
shall also be permitted to French missionaries to buy or 
rent land and build houses in any of the provinces at their 
pleasure." This clause is not found in the French text, 
which is authoritative, but the Chinese Government has 
allowed it to pass by default (see Chapter VII., " Extra- 
territoriality "). 

Upon the death of the Emperor Hienfeng, his only son, 
a child of six years, became his successor. The Court being 
then at Jehol, the government fell into the hands of a 
coterie bent on renewing the war and resisting foreign 
aggression at all costs, the reign title Kisiang (Favoring 
Fortune) being adopted. To carry out their policy and 
maintain their power, they planned to seize the Empresses 
Regent and their adherents ; but they, with the support 
of Prince Kung, brother of Hienfeng, effected a counter 
coup d'etat, put to death some and banished others of the 
leaders of the government, seized the reins, and changed 
the reign title to Tungchih (Peace and Order). The Em- 
press Consort and Empress Mother exercised the regency, 
and Prince Kung became the principal Minister and the 
most powerful of those engaged in the administration. 

The foreign envoys took up their residence in Peking, the 
first to do so being Sir Frederick Bruce for Great Britain, the 
Hon. Anson Burlinghame for the United States of America, 
Monsieur de Bourboulon for France, and General Vlangaly 
for Russia. 

Second Stage of Taiping Rebellion (1862-1864) 

The Taiping forces, though driven back from the imme- 
diate vicinity of Shanghai and restricted to the Yangtze 
valley above Chinkiang, soon felt the relief given by the 
defeat of the Imperial forces at the hands of the foreign 
allied powers, and again occupied the whole of the triangle 


between the Yangtze and Hangchow Bay, with the ex- 
ception of Shanghai. This city was protected by the troops 
left by the allies for protection of the foreign settlements. 

The Chinese in Shanghai formed a patriotic league for 
the defence of the city, and at the suggestion of Li Hung- 
chang, who had been appointed Governor of Kiangsu 
Province, engaged the services of two Americans, Ward and 
Burgevine, to organise a force of Europeans and Manila 
men to fight the rebels. Ward, with a force two hundred 
strong, consisting mainly of adventurers, in conjunction 
with the Imperial army, succeeded in taking the city of 
Sungkiang. In August i860 Chung Wang advanced on 
Shanghai. Although he was able to occupy the native 
city, he failed to take the foreign settlements, as they were 
defended by a foreign garrison. After a time he retired 
from Shanghai, burning and destroying all the villages 
and hamlets in the outlying country. 

When Admiral Hope, the British Commander of the 
fleet that had carried on the expedition in the north, re- 
turned to Shanghai, he went up to Nanking to pay a visit 
to the Taiping Emperor, Tien Wang, and entered into an 
agreement with him, by which the safety of Shanghai was 
assured from attacks by the rebels, provided the English 
and Europeans remained neutral. In consequence of this 
arrangement Ward was compelled to disband his force, 
but in place of it he organised a small army composed of 
Chinese troops. This afterward became known as " The 
Ever Victorious Army." With this he gained many victories 
over the rebels. 

When the rebels had taken Ningpo and Soochow, and 
threatened to attack Shanghai again, Admiral Hope saw 
that no reliance could be placed upon Tien Wang's assur- 
ances, and, for the sake of helping to restore peace, decided 
to assist the Imperial forces. The British and French 
then proceeded to clear the country of rebels within a 
thirty-miles radius of Shanghai. Acting in conjunction 
with Ward this was successfully accomplished ; but during 
the campaign the brave American leader lost his life. He 


was succeeded for a time by Burgevine, but the latter soon 
came into difficulties with the Chinese authorities, and was 
dismissed from their service. Then Captain Holland of 
the British Army was placed in command, but under his 
leadership the forces suffered defeat at Taitsang. Finally, 
Captain C. E. Gordon was loaned by the British Government 
to assist the Imperial forces. Gordon's chief object was the 
taking of Soochow, the stronghold of the rebels in Kiangsu. 
This city was closely invested, but held out for many 
months. At last a dissension broke out between two 
factions in the city, and the party in favor of capitulation 
having gained the upper hand, the rebels surrendered, on 
the understanding that the lives of their leaders (the so-called 
Wangs) were to be spared. Li Hung-chang, however, much 
to the indignation of Gordon, broke faith with the rebels, 
and, after getting their leaders into his power, put them all 
to death. 

Nanking, which had been besieged for eleven years by 
the Imperial forces, was the only place still left in the hands 
of the rebels. When the city was about to fall, Tien Wang 
ended his life by taking poison. Chung Wang and the son 
of Tien Wang attempted to escape, but were captured and 
put to death. With the fall of Nanking the rebellion 
collapsed. Over twenty millions of lives had been sacri- 
ficed, and many of the fairest districts of the Empire had 
been devastated. To this day, in many of the cities, heaps 
of ruins and rubbish may be found, witnessing to the havoc 
wrought by the rebels. 

Mohammedan Uprisings 

In 1867, during the reign of Tungchih, the Mohammedans 
in Yunnan revolted against the Chinese Government on 
account of the harsh treatment received at the hands of the 
officials, and attempted to establish a government of their 
own. A similar uprising broke out in Shensi and Kansu. 
These revolts were suppressed with much difficulty by the 
Imperial Government. 


First Embassy to Foreign Countries (1867) 

In 1867 the Chinese. Government sent its first embassy 
to foreign countries. This consisted of three envoys, two 
Chinese and one foreign, the latter being the Hon. Anson 
Burlinghame, who had been U.S. Minister to Peking. The 
object of the mission was to win for China more favorable 
treatment from Western nations, and to represent the 
Chinese Government as desirous of entering upon a course 
of reform. Unfortunately Mr. Burlinghame died in St. 
Petersburg before the mission had been completed. 

The Tientsin Massacre (1870) 

In 1870 occurred what is known as the Tientsin Massacre. 
For some time previous anti-foreign and anti-Christian 
literature had been circulated among the masses, with the 
result that their minds had been highly inflamed against the 

The trouble in Tientsin arose out of rumors spread in 
regard to the Roman Catholic Orphanage, such as that the 
Sisters in charge were in the habit of kidnapping children, 
and of taking out their hearts and eyes to serve as medicine. 
A committee of five Chinese gentlemen were permitted to 
examine the premises, that they might be convinced of 
the absurdity of such stories and help to correct the false 
impression. The French Consul, who looked upon this 
investigation as an unwarranted intrusion, very uncere- 
moniously drove these visitors into the street. This angered 
the populace, and resulted in the burning down of the 
Orphanage and the Cathedral, and the massacre of many of 
the Sisters and their native assistants. The French Minister 
demanded the punishment of the officials who had been 
remiss in not quelling the riot, the decapitation of the ring- 
leaders, and an indemnity of 400,000 taels. 

First Public Audience (1873) 

Shortly after the marriage of the Emperor, when the 
regency of the Empress Dowager for a time came to an end, 


the first Imperial Audience for foreign ambassadors was held 
on June 29, 1873. This appeared to be a step in advance 
on the part of China, but the fact that the audience took 
place in the " Pavilion of Purple Light," a hall used for 
receiving tributary nations, showed that the pride of China 
was as strong as ever. 

Succession of Kwanghsu (1875) 

In 1875, Kwanghsu, the present Emperor, was placed 
upon the throne. He is the son of Prince Chun, the youngest 
brother of Hienfeng. His elevation to the Imperial dignity 
was brought about by a coup d'etat on the part of his aunt, 
the mother of the Emperor Tungchih, the present Empress 
Dowager. As he was a mere child at the time of his acces- 
sion, the power once more fell into the hands of the Empress 
Dowager, and she became the virtual ruler of the Empire, 
a position which she has held, with short intervals of retire- 
ment, up to the present time. 

The Chefoo Convention (1876) 

After the British Government had annexed Burma, an 
attempt was made to open up a trade route through Yunnan. 
Mr. A. R. Margary, of H.B.M.'s Consular service, was com- 
missioned to travel overland through China to meet at 
Bhamo an expedition sent out by the Indian Government, 
and to act as interpreter and guide through Yunnan and 
Central China to Hankow. After meeting the expedition, 
Margary started on ahead to Manwyne, the first city within 
Chinese territory, to prepare the way for those who were to 
follow. Upon arriving there he was made away with, and 
then the expedition was attacked, and driven back by bands 
of armed natives. 

Sir Thomas Wade was at that time British Minister at 
Peking. After prolonged negotiations between him and the 
Chinese Government, the Chefoo Convention was finally 
agreed to, the principal articles of which are as follows : 
(1) A compensation of 200,000 taels was to be paid ; (2) An 


embassy expressing regret for the murder of Margary was 
to be dispatched to Great Britain ; (3) Further arrange- 
ments for the better regulation of the opium traffic were to 
be put in force ; and (4) Four new Treaty Ports— Ichang, 
Wuhu, Wenchow, and Pakhoi— were to be open to foreign 
trade and residence, and six ports of call on the Yangtze for 
the landing of foreign goods. 

Dispute between China and Russia 

A dispute arose between China and Russia in regard to 
the city of Kuldja, that had fallen into the hands of the 
Russians during the Mohammedan rebellion in the north- 
western part of the Empire. When China demanded the 
return of the city, they were met with a direct refusal. For 
a time it looked as if the friction would lead to a war between 
the two countries. Finally, however, in 1881, the Treaty of 
St Petersburg was agreed to, by which China regained 
Kuldja and the most of Hi, and paid nine million roubles to 
Russia in compensation for her claims. 

Trouble in Korea 

As far back as 1592 the Japanese had founded a settle- 
ment at Fusan in Korea. In 1876, in retaliation for an 
unprovoked attack upon one of their gunboats off the coast 
of Korea, the Japanese dispatched an expedition to that 
country, and compelled the Korean Government to pay an 
indemnity, to open the ports of Chemulpo, Gensan, and 
Fusan and to allow Japanese to reside in Korea on the same 
terms as Europeans resided in Japan. The Chinese Govern- 
ment, regarding Korea as a vassal kingdom, determined to 
neutralise Japanese influence by throwing open the country 
to the whole world under treaty. Thus Korea, hitherto 
known as the Hermit Nation, emerged from her position of 
seclusion, and entered into treaty relations with foreign 
powers The opening of Korea led to many troubles. 
There was soon formed a Party of Progress, and this was in 
constant strife with the Conservatives. In order to mam- 


tainorderthe Chineseappointed a Resident, after the pattern 
of British Residents in India, to live in the capital at Seoul. 
In one of the quarrels between the Reformers and the Con- 
servatives, the Japanese Legation was burnt to the ground, 
and the Japanese Minister and his staff were forced to flee 
for safety to Chemulpo. This led to the landing of a 
Japanese force at Chemulpo, and the dispatch of Chinese 
troops to Seoul. It seemed for a time as if war was imminent 
between the two countries, but Li Hung-chang and Count 
Ito, acting for their respective governments, were able to 
arrive at an understanding. Both countries agreed to with- 
draw their troops from Korea within four months, and 
promised that, in case any serious disturbance arose in the 
future, before either country landed troops, notice should 
be previously given to the other. At this time Russia, 
taking as a pretext the disturbed condition of the country, 
moved her troops towards the northern frontiers of Korea. 
As a counter-movement, the British fleet seized Port 
Hamilton, an island off the southern coast, and threatened 
to take permanent possession of it if the Russian occupation 
lasted in the north. In 1887 the British Government with- 
drew her forces from Port Hamilton, with the stipulation 
that the island was never to be ceded to any other power. 

War with France (1884-5) 

As protectors of Roman Catholic Missions in the Far 
East, the French Government obtained a pretext for inter- 
fering in the affairs of Annam, and in 1864 the King of that 
country was obliged to cede Cochin China to France. 

After the Franco-Prussian War, when the French 
Government entered on a policy of extending its colonial 
possessions, it became desirous of annexing Tonkin, lying 
to the north of Annam, as in that way it would be able to 
tap the resources of Yunnan. Tonkin, which for centuries 
had been a vassal kingdom of China, appealed to the latter 
for protection. In 1884 the French troops threatened 
Sontay^ and Bacninh, and notwithstanding the protests 


made by the Chinese, proceeded to occupy them. As neither 
country was anxious for war, negotiations followed, as the 
result of which it was agreed that China was to cede Langson 
and some other places to France, and that, in return, France 
would respect China's southern boundary. Owing to a 
misunderstanding, when the French troops came to take 
possession of these places, the Chinese garrison refused to 
evacuate. Thus hostilities broke out. 

As there had been no formal declaration of war, Admiral 
Courbet, of the French Navy, sailed with his fleet unopposed 
past the Chinese fleet and forts into the mouth of the Min 
River at Foochow. Then, without warning, he suddenly 
opened fire on the forts and the Chinese ships as they lay 
at anchor. As the Chinese were taken completely by sur- 
prise, they were unable to make resistance. Their forts were 
much injured, and a large number of their ships were 
destroyed. The French fleet then sailed away, and seized 
Kelung in Formosa by a similar stratagem to that used at 
Foochow. The Pescadores Islands were also taken. The 
war dragged on in a desultory manner, and on land the 
Chinese gained some successes over the French troops. At 
length peace was declared on June 9, 1885, by the terms 
of which China gave up all claim to Tonkin, while the 
French promised to respect China's southern frontier. 

The Riots of 1891 

China was next involved in difficulties with foreign 
powers by the riots of 1891 on the Yangtze River. The 
passions of the populace had been stirred up by the circula- 
tion of libellous literature scattered broadcast throughout 
this region of the country. It is generally supposed that 
it emanated from the literati, who were bitterly opposed to 
all the changes taking place in the Empire. The prime 
instigator was a scholar named Chow Han, who composed 
many diatribes against the Christian religion. The soldiers 
who had been disbanded after the suppression of the Taiping 
Rebellion, and who had formed a society known as the 


Ko-lao-hui, were only too ready to take this opportunity 
of creating a disturbance, and of looting Christian churches 
and missionary residences. Riots occurred in Wuhu, 
Wusueh, Tanyang, Wusih, Chinkiang, Yangchow, and 
Kiangyin. At Wusueh two British subjects, one a member 
of the Maritime Customs and one a missionary, were mur- 
dered. Upon strong representations being made by the 
foreign powers, the Chinese Government was forced to grant 
monetary compensation for all the damage wrought by the 

The War with Japan (1894-5) 

In 1894 occurred the war between China and Japan. The 
Chinese, disregarding the agreement entered into with 
Japan, sent troops into Korea to quell a disturbance, and 
the Japanese, as a counter-move, landed a corps of their army 
consisting of 10,000 men. After some parleying, it was 
arranged that the forces of both countries should be with- 
drawn. While negotiations were still in progress, some 
Japanese cruisers sighted a British steamer, the Kowshing, 
transporting troops to Korea. Looking upon this as a 
breach of faith, the Japanese commander ordered the 
captain of the Kowshing to surrender, and demanded the 
Chinese troops as prisoners. Although those in command 
of the Kowshing were willing to surrender, they were unable 
to do so owing to a mutiny of the Chinese soldiers. Accord- 
ingly the Japanese ships opened fire, and in a few minutes 
sunk the Kowshing. This led to a declaration of war on 
both sides. China claimed that, as Korea was a vassal state, 
she had a right to interfere in her political affairs. The 
Japanese reasons for going to war were their resentment at 
the supercilious way in which they had always been re- 
garded by the Chinese, their desire to gain control over 
Korea so as to check the further advance of Russia to the 
south, and the wish to find some vent for the ebullition of 
military spirit in Japan. The war soon revealed the utter 
lack of preparation on the part of China. Her forces on 


land were miserably armed, and badly officered. China 
had made but little progress in the art of modern warfare, 
whereas Japan had a most efficient army. On land, the 
Chinese troops were defeated in every engagement, and 
were driven out of Korea. 

In the Naval battle at the mouth of the Yalu, the 
Chinese fleet fought with determination, but were at a great 
disadvantage on account of the want of proper ammunition. 
Five of their vessels were sunk and the rest were put to 

Port Arthur, strongly fortified by the Chinese and 
deemed impregnable, was next assaulted by the Japanese, 
under General Oyama, from the land side. The Japanese 
surmounted all obstacles, and, owing to the poor defence 
made by the Chinese, soon succeeded in taking possession 
of the fortress. 

After the capture of Port Arthur, the Japanese fleet 
attacked Weihaiwei. Although Admiral Ting of the Chinese 
fleet, who had fled thither after the battle of the Yalu, 
offered a determined resistance, he was finally forced to 
surrender all the forts to the Japanese. After this China 
was powerless to continue the war, and accordingly Li 
Hung-chang was sent to Japan to sue for terms of peace. 
The treaty of Shimonoseki was signed on April 17, 1895. 
By it (1) The independence of Korea was to be recognised ; 
(2) The Liaotung Peninsula (including Port Arthur), For- 
mosa, and the Pescadores Islands were to be ceded to 
Japan ; (3) An indemnity of 200,000,000 taels was to be 
paid in seven years ; and (4) Shasi, Chungking, Soochow, 
and Hangchow were to be opened as Treaty Ports to 
foreign trade and residence. A large part of the fruits of 
Japan's victory was wrested from her by Russia, Germany, 
and France uniting to compel her to waive her claims to 
the Liaotung Peninsula in exchange for a payment of 
30,000,000 taels. 

The result of the war was disastrous to China in many 
ways. It dispelled the idea from the minds of Westerners 
that China had really entered on the path of reform, and 


the belief became prevalent that China was so weak that 
she must yield to whatever demands were made of her, 
provided a sufficient show of force was displayed. 

Acts of Foreign Aggression 

In 1897 Germany seized Kiaochow, on the south of 
the Shantung Peninsula. Her pretext for so doing was the 
murder of two German Roman Catholic missionaries in the 
southern part of Shantung. 

Russia forced the Chinese Government to lease Port 
Arthur, one of the strongest naval bases in the world, and 
Talienwan, thus strengthening her position in Manchuria. 

Great Britain put in a claim for the lease of Weihaiwei, 
and China granted this in return for the help received 
in financing the indemnity owed to Japan. 

France claimed and obtained the lease of Kwangchow- 
wan, in Kwangtung, so as to " restore the balance of power 
in the Far East." 

In 1899 Italy demanded, but was refused, the cession of 
Sanmen Bay in Chekiang. The people of China began to 
realise that, if this process of granting leases went on longer, 
the integrity of the Empire was doomed, and a strong anti- 
foreign feeling began to manifest itself. 

The Reforms of 1898 

In 1898 the Emperor Kwanghsii, strongly influenced by 
a band of ardent young reformers, the chief of whom was 
Kang Yu-wei, attempted to introduce radical reforms in 
the Empire, believing that only thus could the ship of state 
be saved from foundering. The Empress Dowager, as well 
as the conservative officials of Peking, regarded these in- 
novations with dread, and an attempt was made to depose 
the Emperor. She began a vigorous crusade against the 
Reform Party, and did not hesitate to put to death all 
who fell into her hands. 


The Boxer Outbreak (1900) 

The anti-foreign spirit in China, roused by the acts of 
aggression on the part of foreign powers, found expression 
in the Boxer movement of 1900. The Boxers were a semi- 
religious fanatical secret society, the members of which 
were banded together to drive out all foreigners from China, 
and to rid the Empire of foreign domination. Those who 
joined it believed they were under the special protection of 
the gods, and that by the use of magical charms they could 
make themselves invulnerable in battle. They began their 
operations in Shantung, where they proceeded to burn down 
churches and missionary residences, and to murder Christian 
converts. From Shantung the movement extended into 
Chihli, and soon all the northern part of China was in 
confusion. The Chinese officials, many of whom openly 
sympathised with the aims of the Boxers, did little to 
oppose their progress, and the Empress Dowager took no 
strong measures against them. As alarm was felt for the 
safety of the Legations at Peking, guards were sent up 
from the men-of-war anchored off Taku for their protection. 
Peking was surrounded by the Boxers and cut off from all 
communication with the outside world. Admiral Seymour 
of the British fleet and Captain McCalla of the American 
fleet, with a force of 2,000 men, consisting of British, 
Americans, Germans, and others, undertook to march 
from Tientsin to Peking to relieve the Legations. This 
expedition was steadily opposed, and upon reaching 
Langfang met with a determined resistance, news having 
reached the Chinese of the taking of the Taku Forts by the 
fleets of the European powers. The relief force was com- 
pelled to retreat, and on the way back experienced much 
hardship, and came near to being annihilated. 

Owing to the disturbed conditions in China a large 
number of vessels of the various foreign powers had as- 
sembled off Taku. It was from these that the relief 
expedition to Peking had been sent. After it had started, 
on June 16, the commanders of the fleets, with the ex- 


ception of the American commander, joined in summoning 
the Taku Forts to surrender. Upon the refusal of the 
Chinese, fire was opened on the forts, and after a severe 
bombardment they were taken. This led the Chinese 
Government to declare war on foreign nations, and the 
Imperial troops began to make common cause with the 
Boxers. The foreign settlement at Tientsin was besieged 
by the Chinese, and was only saved from destruction by 
an expedition sent to its relief from Taku. 

During the summer of 1900 massacres of Christian 
missionaries and their converts took place throughout 
North China. A secret edict to exterminate all foreigners 
was issued by the Empress Dowager, and was obeyed in 
Paotingfu, and in Taiyuanfu. As soon as the gravity of 
the situation was realised troops of the foreign powers were 
dispatched to China. Upon the arrival of these the native 
city of Tientsin was attacked and, after severe fighting, was 
taken by the allied forces. Then a relief expedition set out 
for Peking. 

The foreigners in Peking had, in the meantime, taken 
refuge in the British, American, and adjoining Legations, 
where they were subjected to a long and trying siege. With 
splendid determination they held out against overwhelming 
odds, and managed to maintain their position. The Chinese 
were afraid of proceeding to extremities, and never put 
forth all the force at their disposal against the beleaguered. 
It is probable they suffered from divided counsels in their 
own midst, one party wishing to destroy the foreigners, and 
one holding back from fear of the consequences. If Tientsin 
had been able to hold out against the foreigners, the fate of 
the Legations would have been sealed. When, however, 
it was learnt that Tientsin had been taken, the attack on 
the Legations was no longer carried on with much real 
spirit. The allied army arrived at Peking on August 14, 
and the city was taken on the following day. The Emperor 
and Empress Dowager fled as the foreign troops entered 
the city, and established the Court at Sianfu in Shensi. 
During the outbreak in the north, the Viceroys, Liu Kun-i, 


and Chang Chih-tung — governing the provinces Kiangsu, 
Anhwei, Kiangsi, Hupeh, and Hunan — succeeded in keeping 
the part of the Empire over which they ruled from taking 
part in the mad uprising ; and an agreement was made by 
them with the various Consuls of the Western powers, by 
which they promised to preserve order in their jurisdictions, 
provided the military operations of the invading forces 
were confined to the north. When the Boxer movement 
had been suppressed there followed a long period of ne- 
gotiations between the representatives of the Chinese 
Government and of the Western powers. The Chinese 
were forced to yield to the following terms : (i) China was 
to erect a monument to the memory of Baron von Kettler, 
the German Minister who had been murdered in the streets 
of Peking at the outbreak of hostilities, and to send an 
Imperial Prince to Germany to convey the Emperor's 
apology for the sad occurrence ; (2) The death penalty 
was to be meted out to the leaders in the uprising, and to 
the officials responsible for the murder of the foreigners ; 
(3) An indemnity, £67,500,000, was to be paid in annual 
instalments extending over forty years ; (4) The Taku 
Forts were to be demolished ; and (5) Permanent garrisons 
were to be stationed at the various Legations in Peking, 
and on the route to the sea. 

Recent Events 

Since the Boxer uprising many important events have 
taken place. The war between Russia and Japan, although 
strictly speaking not an event in Chinese history, has been 
one in which China was deeply concerned. The long- 
pursued policy of Russia to gain absolute control of 
Manchuria has been checked. The prowess of Japan, 
displayed on the battle-field, at the siege of Port Arthur, 
and at the naval engagement of the Straits of Tsushima, 
has led the Chinese to look with respect upon Japan, and 
to follow her example in introducing reforms into her own 


Much has been recently accomplished in the way of 
organising a system of enlightened education, and the old 
literary examination system has been entirely discarded. 
Much activity is shown in the building of railroads. A 
national spirit is growing, taking as its motto, " China for 
the Chinese." The government is undergoing modification, 
and the promise has been held out of the grant of a con- 
stitution in the near future. Indeed, reform edicts follow 
one another so quickly that each seems to tread on the 
heels of the one going before. The influence of Japan is 
paramount, and it seems probable that the world may 
witness an alliance of the Yellow Race that will bring about 
astounding results. 

Indeed, our attention is directed to China as it has never 
been before, and we naturally are led to speculate upon 
the future possibilities of this remarkable people, and the 
part they may play in the unfolding drama of the great 
world process. 



The government of China is an autocratic rule superposed 
on a democracy ; but " the East is East and the West is 
West," and, having applied Occidental terminology to an 
Oriental system, it becomes necessary to define the terms. 
When the Mongols under Kublai Khan in the thirteenth 
century invaded and conquered the country, they became 
the dominant power and de facto rulers of the Empire ; but 
the daily life of their subjects went on as before, they made 
no change in domestic and local institutions, and their 
refusal to be absorbed in the sturdy organisation of the 
Chinese people, combined with the pressure of heavy tribute 
and the evils of an irredeemable paper currency, led to their 
expulsion within a century from the first accession of 
Kublai to the throne. The native dynasty of the Ming, 
which then succeeded in the fourteenth century, introduced 
a better system of government, based on learning and states- 
manship, but made no change in its external form ; and the 
relations between ruler and subject remained unaltered. 

The Manchu Dynasty of the Tsing, coming to power in the 
seventeenth century, was based primarily on force of arms ; 
but even their conquests were effected by armies composed 
as much of Chinese troops, stiffened by Manchu battalions 
and led by Manchu officers, as of the all-conquering Manchu 
bowmen. In their civil government the Tsing Emperors 
and their Manchu advisers had the wisdom to recognise 
that their own people, unlettered and without the training 
of generations in the science of governing, were unequal to 
the task of providing an administration which could stand 

4 6 


by its own strength ; and from the very beginning, before 
the ruins which marked their military progress ceased 
smoking and were cold, they not only continued the system 
and forms of their predecessors, but associated with them- 
selves, in the administration, the literate class of their Chinese 
subjects, and the mode of living and customs of the people 
remained unchanged. Garrisons were established at certain 
strategic points to maintain the conquest ; certain posts in 
the central government were reserved for Manchu nobles 
and leaders ; certain " milking " posts were created to tap 
the wealth of the provinces ; and the Court, the Manchu 
nobles, and the Manchu garrisons at Peking and elsewhere 
were maintained by tribute drawn from the provinces. 
Apart from this the government of the country has been 
more in the hands of the Chinese than of their conquerors, 
and the Civil Service has been a carrier e ouverte aux talents. 
Some allowance must be made for the predilection of the 
ruling powers for men of their own race, and it is only 
natural that, in the exercise of patronage, Manchu s should 
be somewhat preferred. This preference is now shown 
less frequently than in the past, as the Manchus have become 
more and more assimilated in thought and in training to 
the Chinese, and of late years the proportion of Manchus 
holding Imperial appointments in the provinces has not 
exceeded one-fifth, while the numerous and important 
extra-official posts created by modern conditions are seldom 
held by Manchus. To apply American terminology to 
things Chinese, the Municipal and State (provincial) govern- 
ment is almost entirely in the hands of the Chinese, while 
the Federal (Imperial) administration is influenced and 
controlled as much by Chinese as by Manchu minds, with 
the further proviso that full weight is given in the Emperor's 
Council Hall to the shrewd brains of his Chinese coun- 

The American simile may be carried even further, but the 
Western reader must be cautioned not to apply it except as 
specifically indicated. American government stands firm- 
based on the town meeting. This was generally true in 


De Tocqueville's time (except for the county system of the 
Southern States), was passably true at the time of Bryce's 
inquiry, and is true to-day of the country village communi- 
ties. It is also true, mutatis mutandis, of village com- 
munities in China to-day, following the precedent of many 
centuries. The village elder, Tipao, is appointed " with 
and by the advice and consent" of the villagers, and repre- 
sents them in all official and governmental matters, being 
also the ordinary channel of communication of official 
wishes or orders to his fellow villagers. The American 
citizen has few direct dealings with any but his township 
officials, so long as he pays his taxes and is law-abiding, and, 
officially, hardly knows of the existence of the Federal 
Government, unless he has to deal with the Custom House, 
or wishes to distil whisky. This may be said also of the 
Chinese villager, and, moreover, few civil suits are brought 
before the official tribunals in China, while the government 
exercises no control over distillation. The American federal 
system finds its counterpart, too, in some respects, in the 
semi-interindependence of the central and provincial ad- 
ministrations ; but the means of providing for the main- 
tenance of the Imperial Government resemble much more 
closely the German system, based on a combination of 
Imperial taxes and matriculations assessed on the federated 

The civil government of China may be considered under 
four divisions : 

(i) The Emperor and his Court, and the Manchu nobles. 

(ii) The Central Metropolitan Government. 

(iii) The Provincial Administration. 

(iv) The Township and Village. 

To explain clearly the system of Chinese administration, 
it would be wise to begin with the foundation and trace it 
up to the top ; but in many ways it is more convenient to 
trace the stream from its mouth through its many rami- 
fications to its sources. 


I. The Court 

The Emperor rules by divine right. He is no empty 
" Dei gratia/' based on a parliamentary title, or on election 
by a Diet, or by allied kings and princes. He is himself the 
Son of Heaven, and, when he dies, he "mounts the Dragon 
chariot to be a guest on high/' He is the Divus Augustus 
of his Empire, reverenced, in letter and in spirit, by his 
subjects. He worships only at the Altar of Heaven and the 
Altar of Earth, apart from his reverential worship of the 
shades of his ancestors ; but he commands his Ministers to 
propitiate the Guardian Dragon of the River in times of 
flood, and the Spirits of the Air in times of drought, and 
leaves to his subjects their worship of Buddhist deities and 
their adhesion to Taoist tenets, or even to Christian and 
Mussulman practices, so long as they remain a matter of 
religion only. Apart from the result of military usurpation, 
he is selected by his predecessor or by the Imperial family 
acting under such inspiration as moves a Papal Conclave. 
He is usually a son of his predecessor, but is seldom the 
eldest, the Asiatic practice of selecting the fittest among 
certain qualified princes of the blood being followed. Not 
one of the Emperors of the present dynasty (except Tung- 
chih, an only son) was the eldest son of his predecessor : 
Kanghi was the third son of Shunchih ; Yungcheng (1723- 
1735) was the fourth son of Kanghi, and was driven to 
imprison some of his brothers, and to banish others, because 
they rebelled against him on his accession ; Kienlung was 
the fourth son of Yungcheng. Among the sons of the 
Emperor, one of those by the Empress Consort might, 
other things being equal, be preferred ; next in order of 
choice come the sons of the Secondary Consorts, and next 
the sons of concubines ; but the son of a concubine might 
be preferred to others, and all are equally recognised as the 
sons of their father. Failing a son, the choice would be 
among the other princes of the Imperial family, but re- 
stricted by the necessity, if possible, of going a generation 
lower in order that the selected prince might be adopted as 


the son of the decedent Emperor, and so be qualified to 
perform the due ceremonies before the ancestral tablets. 
This principle was violated on the death of Tungchih in 
January 1875, the present Emperor — adopted as his son 
and successor — being natally his father's brother's son ; and 
the coup d'etat manque of 1898 was based upon the alleged 
necessity of providing an Emperor of the next generation 
below, to carry on fitly the ancestral worship, and so to 
avert disaster from the Empire. Princes of the blood of 
the same generation have their first given name the same 
(as Albert Edward, Albert Henry, Albert Charles) ; the 
Emperor Tungchih was " christened " Tsai-shun, and his 
successor, the present Emperor, Tsai-tien ; in the next 
generation we have the heir presumptive, selected in 1898, 
Pu-chun, and the prince who went to St. Louis in 1903, 
Pu-lun. To his people the sovereign is " The Emperor," 
" His Sacred Majesty," " Lord of a myriad years," " The 
Son of Heaven " ; his personal name is never mentioned 
from the moment of his accession, and even its distinctive 
initial word must be avoided for ever thereafter, a synonym 
or a modified form being used : just as, for example, with 
a King Harry, now or at some past time during the present 
dynasty on the throne, it would not be permissible to 
" harry " the enemy, but some synonym, if possible one 
having a similar sound, would be used instead. Each 
Emperor selects a " year indicator " or " reign title," by 
which to indicate the years of his reign, 1906 being the 
thirty-second year of the period Kwanghsu (Continuation 
of Glory), and foreigners, from indolence, commonly use 
this reign title as if it were the personal name of the sove- 
reign, speaking ordinarily of His Majesty Kwanghsu. Under 
previous dynasties the Emperors frequently changed their 
reign title, but this has happened only once under Manchu 
rule — in 1861, when the first reign title of the infant Em- 
peror was changed, concurrently with a coup d'etat, from 
Kisiang (Favoring Fortune), to Tungchih (Peace and 
Order). On his death the Emperor is canonised, and re- 
ceives a temple name, by which he is known in history ; the 


temple name of the Emperor we know as Tungchih is 
Mu-tsimg Yi Hwang-ti, " Our Reverent Ancestor the Bold 
Emperor." The Emperor's writ runs throughout the ex- 
tent of his dominions, and his edicts and rescripts are the 
law of the Empire ; this is true also of the writs and Orders 
in Council of the King of Great Britain and Ireland, and 
the restrictions on the acts of the two sovereigns differ only 
in degree and kind. The Emperor is bound, in the first 
place, by the unwritten constitution of the Empire, the 
customs which have come down from time immemorial, 
through generations of both rulers and ruled, and further 
by established precedent as defined in the edicts of his 
predecessors, even those of previous dynasties. Then he 
is bound by the opinions and decisions of his Ministers, 
whose position and weight differ from those of Ministers 
of constitutional monarchies only in the mode of their 
selection and retention in office. Finally, shut up within 
the walls of his palace, he is more sensible of the daily 
pressure brought to bear upon him by his personal en- 
tourage than his brother sovereigns in the West ; but it must 
be said of the Manchu rulers that eunuchs have had less 
influence at Court than under previous dynasties. A strong 
Emperor may assert his own will, and, given a suitable 
opportunity and a justifying emergency, may override the 
constitution as Abraham Lincoln did under similar circum- 
stances ; but when an ordinary ruler tries it, the result is 
what happened in 1898, when the present Emperor under- 
took to modify in a few months the development of many 
centuries, and impetuously instituted reforms for which the 
Empire was not then ready. The Emperor is also the source 
of honors and of office ; but this is no more literally true in 
China than in any other country where patronage is exer- 
cised from above. 

The Empress Consort is chosen by the Emperor (with 
perhaps some forcing of the cards) from a bevy of candi- 
dates selected by his Ministers from the families of Manchu 
nobles ; and from the same selection, then or later, he 
chooses Secondary Empresses, not commonly exceeding 


four in number. The concubines are not limited in number 
by any law or custom, and are selected from the daughters 
of Manchu nobles and freemen. The Dragon is the armorial 
emblem of the Emperor, and the Phoenix of the Empress 
Consort, and her title of respect is " Mother of the State." 
When the Emperor Hienfeng (properly Wentsung Hien 
Hwangti) died in 1861, he left only one son, five years old, 
to succeed him, born, not of the Empress Consort, but of 
the Secondary Empress, the present Empress Dowager. 
Motherhood is divine in China, and it was quite in accord- 
ance with law and custom that the Regency over the infant 
Emperor should be exercised jointly by the Dowager 
Empress Consort (the " Eastern Palace," the east or left 
being the side of honor), and the Empress Mother (the 
" Western Palace "). Only one of the two, however, had 
capacity for government, and the Semiramis of the Far 
East, the Empress Mother, exercised alone the real power, 
even before the death in 1881 of her colleague in the regency, 
supported then and after by the counsel of Prince Kung, 
brother of Hienfeng. The regency was determined in 1873, 
when the young Emperor, Tungchih, then seventeen years 
old, was declared of age, and was again resumed in 1875 
(January), on the death of Tungchih and the accession of the 
infant Kwanghsu ; it was again determined in 1889, and 
again resumed in 1898 ; and the rule of this woman of 
seventy-one over the youth of thirty-five, her nephew- 
adopted-grandson, is strengthened by the capacity of the 
ruler, the necessity of the state, and the devoted reverence 
due to parents and grandparents. 

The Imperial Clansmen are those who can trace their 
descent back directly to the founder of the dynasty, Hien- 
tsu, 1583-1615, and are distinguished by the privilege of 
wearing a yellow girdle : collateral relatives of the Imperial 
house are privileged to wear a red girdle. The titles of 
nobility conferred on members of the Imperial house are 
of twelve degrees. Sons of an Emperor are created Tsin- 
wang or Kiin-wang, Prince of the first or second order ; 
their sons descend to Bei-leh, Prince of the third order ; and 


their sons to Bei-tze, Prince of the fourth order (Prince 
Pu-lun is of this rank) ; then come four grades of Duke 
and four of Commanders, until, in the thirteenth generation, 
the descendants of Emperors are merged in the ranks of 
commoners, distinguished only by their privilege of the 
yellow girdle. 

The Hereditary Nobility do not descend in rank with 
each succeeding generation. Chief among them are the 
eight " Iron-capped " (or helmeted) Princes, direct descend- 
ants by rule of primogeniture of the eight princes who co- 
operated in the Conquest of China ; to them is added the 
descendant of the thirteenth son of Kanghi. Certain 
Chinese families also enjoy hereditary titles of nobility, 
chief among them the Holy Duke of Yen (the descendant 
of Kung Fu-tze or Confucius), Marquis Tseng (from Tseng 
Kwo-fan), Earl Li (from Li Hung-chang) : none of these 
titles carry with them any special privileges. 

II. Metropolitan Administration 

Of the central government of China, Mayers * says : 
" The central government of China, so far as a system of 
this nature is recognised in the existing institutions, is 
arranged with the object rather of registering and checking 
the action of the various provincial administrations, than 
with that of assuming a direct initiative in the conduct of 
affairs. . . . Regulations, indeed, of the most minute and 
comprehensive character, are on record for the guidance 
of every conceivable act of administration ; and the princi- 
pal function of the central government consists in watching 
over the execution of this system of rules. The bestowal of 
the higher appointments of the civil and military services, 
and the distribution of the superior literary degrees as 
rewards for proficiency in the studies upon which the entire 
polity of the Empire is based, comprise the remainder of 

* "The Chinese Government," by W. F. Mayers, 1878. 


the attributes reserved to the government established at 
Peking. The central government may be said to criticise 
rather than to control the action of the twenty-one pro- 
vincial administrations, wielding, however, at all times the 
power of immediate removal from his post of any official 
whose conduct may be found irregular, or considered 
dangerous to the stability of the State." 

These words strike the keynote for the part played by 
the Emperor's Ministers at the capital ; but, written in 
1877, they take too little account of the centralising policy 
forced upon the government by the importance of its 
foreign relations, and facilitated by the improvement in 
the means of communication. In its pristine form the 
government was, a generation only back, as Mayers describes 
it. When Lord Napier first introduced the element of 
national sovereignty into China's foreign relations, he found 
no member of the central administration or envoy of the 
Emperor to deal with ; he was not even allowed to come 
in touch with the Viceroy or the Governor at Shiuhing, but 
was ordered to communicate through the authorities at 
Canton, the Co-Hong and the Hoppo. The British treaty 
of 1842 was signed by the Tartar General of Canton and the 
Lieutenant-General of Chapoo, who, being responsible for 
resistance to aggression on the coasts of Kwangtung and 
Chekiang, transferred their headquarters to Nanking to 
settle matters with the aggressor ; and to them was joined 
in the signature, though not mentioned as plenipotentiary 
in the preamble, the Viceroy at Nanking, within whose 
jurisdiction the negotiations for peace were conducted ; no 
envoy was sent direct from the central government. The 
American treaty of 1844 was negotiated and signed by the 
Viceroy at Canton (who alone was named in the preamble) 
and the Tartar General ; and the French treaty, later in the 
same year, was signed by the Viceroy alone, the Manchu 
Commandant having meantime died. Then ensued a 
period of foreign friction ending in the second war ; and the 
four treaties negotiated in 1858 — the British, French, 
American, and Russian — were signed by two members of the 


central administration, both Presidents of Boards, and one 
of them a Grand Secretary of State. 

The hammering of twenty years had welded the Empire 
together, and the Imperial Government was compelled, in 
its foreign relations, to act as ruler and not as mere 
supervisor, and to adopt a more centralised policy. This 
policy was made the more necessary from the disorganisa- 
tion into which the provincial administration was thrown 
by the Taiping rebellion ; and the tendency was increased 
by the practice of the foreign envoys in demanding that 
all important questions, in the settlement of which by the 
Consuls and the local authorities any difficulty presented 
itself, should be referred to the capital, and there settled 
between themselves and the Imperial Ministers ; and the 
decisions based on such settlements went down to the 
provinces as orders from Peking. By degrees, as the 
result of this innovation, the Tsungli Yamen, which had 
been organised in 186 1 as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 
tended mbre and more to become a body of Cabinet Ministers 
and to displace the Grand Council. The first members, in 
1861, were Prince Kung, uncle of the Emperor ; Kwei 
Liang, Grand Secretary, who had negotiated the treaties 
of 1858 ; and Wen Siang, then Vice-President of the 
Board of War. This number was increased, until, in 1876, 
there were eleven members, including Prince Kung, as 
President, including also all the members of the Grand 
Council, and including none who were not of the Grand 
Council or were not President or Vice-President of a 
Board. Thus was developed a Cabinet, in the sense com- 
mon to the British, American, and French systems ; and 
the compulsory substitution, in 1901, of a Board of Foreign 
Affairs and abolition of the Tsungli Yamen, leaving the 
government without a corporate head, caused the resumption 
by the Grand Council of its active functions as the deliberat- 
ing and deciding Cabinet of the Emperor, and the executive 
head of the government. The Grand Council, however, 
inherited the centralised power of the old Tsungli Yamen, 
and the orders emanating from Peking were more direct 


than of old. In the old days, too, communication was slow, 
and two or three months might elapse before the authorities 
at Canton could receive a reply to their request for in- 
structions, with the result that much must be left to the 
man on the spot. The introduction of steamers brought 
Canton, Nanking, and Hankow, the seats of the most im- 
portant Viceroyalties, within a week of the capital ; and 
the extension of the telegraphs, which directly resulted from 
the Russian difficulty of 1880, brought the most remote 
of the high provincial authorities into immediate touch with 
the central administration, and furthered the centralisation 
which had already become established ; and now the Empire 
is ruled from Peking to an extent unknown while China 
still played the hermit. 

The powers of the central administration are distributed 
among several Ministries and numerous minor departments ; 
but here, only those having a direct influence in shaping the 
policy of the Empire will be described. Moreover, as this 
book is a record of the past and present, and does not forecast 
the future, it is right, in these days of rapid transformation 
of a hitherto immovable Empire, to state that this chapter 
was written in October 1906. In the Imperial administra- 
tion there are two superior Councils. 

The Nui-Ko, Inner Cabinet, commonly called Grand 
Secretariat, was the Supreme Council of the Empire under 
the Ming Dynasty, but since the middle of the eighteenth 
century has degenerated into a Court of Archives. Active 
membership is limited to six, and confers the highest dis- 
tinction attainable by Chinese officials. The Grand Secre- 
taries have the title of Chung-tang, " Central Hall " (of 
the Palace), the best known in recent years being Li Hung- 
chang ; under the Ming Dynasty they were designated 
Ko-lao, " Elders of the Cabinet " (the Colao of the old 
Jesuit narratives). Six honorary titles were once attached 
to the Grand Secretariat — Grand and Junior Preceptor, 
Tutor, and Guardian ; but of these the last only is now 
conferred as Junior Guardian of the Heir Apparent, and 
that not limited to one incumbent or to Grand Secretaries. 


One of the latest to receive the distinction is Sir Robert 
Hart, who is thereby entitled to be addressed as Kung-pao, 
" Guardian of the Palace." 

The Kun-Ki-chu, " Committee of National Defence " 
or " Board of Strategy," commonly called the Grand 
Council, is the actual Privy Council of the sovereign, in 
whose presence its members, not usually exceeding five in 
number, daily discuss and decide questions of Imperial 
policy. Its members usually hold other high offices, gener- 
ally that of President of a Board. 

The Tsungli Yamen, described before, was organised 
in 1861 and abolished in 1901. The posts of Imperial 
Superintendents of Trade for the Northern Seas (the Viceroy 
at Tientsin), and for the Southern Seas (the Viceroy at 
Nanking), created also in 1861, have continued to be held 
and their functions exercised by those officials. 

The actual administration of Imperial affairs is in 
the hands of the " Six Boards," now nine in number * — 
viz. : 

1. Li Pu, Board of Civil Office, the dispenser of 
patronage, controlling appointments to all posts in 
the regular hierarchy from District Magistrate (Hsien) 

2. Hu Pu, Board of Revenue, controls the receipt 
and expenditure of that portion of the revenue and 
tribute which comes to Peking, or is under the control 
of the central administration. 

3. Lee Pu, Board of Ceremonies, an important 
Ministry at an Asiatic Court. 

4. Ping Pu, Board of War, controls the provincial 
forces only. The Manchu military forces are con- 
trolled by their own organisation attached to the 
Palace. This Board also controls the courier service. 

5. Hing Pu, Board of Punishments, a department 
of Justice for the criminal law only, and dealing 
especially with the punishment of officials guilty 
of malpractices. 

* See Appendix A. 


6. Kung Pu, Board of Works, controlling the 
construction and repair of official residences through- 
out the Empire , but having no concern with canals 
or conservancy, roads or bridges. 

The new Ministries additional to the old " Six Boards " 
are the following : 

7. Wai-wu Pu, Board of Foreign Affairs, instituted 
in 1901 in succession to the Tsungli Yamen. 

8. Shang Pu, Board of Commerce, instituted in 

9. Hioh Pu, Board of Education, instituted in 

These Boards are organised on the same plan. Each 
has two Presidents — Shang-shu, addressed as Pu-tang, " Hall 
of the Board " — of whom one is by law Manchu and one 
Chinese. (An edict issued in 1906 directed that this limita- 
tion should no longer be observed.) Viceroys have, ex 
officio, the honorary title of President of a Board, usually 
of the Board of War. Each Board has also four Vice- 
Presidents — Shih-lang, addressed as Pu-yuan, " Court-yard 
of the Board " — two being Manchu and two Chinese (subject 
to the edict). Governors of provinces have, ex officio, the 
honorary title of Vice-President of a Board, usually of the 
Board of War. They all have an equipment of Secretaries, 
Overseers, Assistants, etc., quant, suff., and are divided into 
sub-departments according to their needs. 

Other departments of the Government exist at Peking, 
with functions not limited to any one Board or one branch 
of the affairs of State ; but only the more important need 
be mentioned. 

Tu-cha Yuan," Court of Investigation," commonly 
called the Court of Censors. Viceroys have the 
honorary title of President, and Governors of Vice- 
President, of the Censorate. The " Censors " remind 
one somewhat of the Censors and somewhat of the 
Tribunes of Ancient Rome ; their duty is to criticise, 
and this duty they exercise without fear, though not 
always without favor. 


Tung-cheng Sze, " Office of Transmission," deals 
with memorials to the Throne. 

Ta-li Sze, " Court of Revision," exercises a general 
supervision over the administration of the criminal 

Han-lin Yuan, " College of Literature," exercised 
control over the education of the Empire until super- 
seded by the Board of Education, and continues to 
exist as a memorial of a glorious past. It is also 
charged with the custody and preparation of the 
historical archives of the dynasty, but many of its 
records were burnt in 1900. 

III. The Provincial Administration 

It has been explained that the provinces, in actual 
practice in the past and in theory to-day, occupy a semi- 
autonomous position vis-a-vis the Imperial Government ; 
in some aspects they may be said to be satrapies, in others 
to resemble the constituent states of a federation. Either 
comparison is too sweeping, however, without careful study 
of the differences. The comparison with states would be 
more exact if for " state " were substituted " territory," 
such as those of the American Union, which have their ex- 
ecutive and judicial officers appointed by the central power 
and removable at its pleasure, but have local autonomy for 
the levy of taxes and the administration of the law ; but in 
this comparison the difference must always be remembered 
between the Occident, which insists on local self-govern- 
ment, and the Orient, which is always governed by the 
strong hand. The provinces are satrapies to the extent 
that (speaking of the past), so long as the tribute and 
matriculations are duly paid and the general policy of the 
central administration followed, they are free to administer 
their own affairs in detail as may seem best to their own 
provincial authorities. But no satrap has existed under 
the present dynasty since its first half -century, when Wu 
San-kwei was given the satrapy of Hunan and Kwangsi 


as a reward for his services in the conquest, and in the end 
had to be brought to subjection as a rebel against the 
sovereign power. With much latitude in the exercise of 
their power, many restrictions are imposed on the individual 

All officials in the provinces, down to District Magistrate, 
are appointed from Peking ; for the lower posts the high 
provincial authorities may, and do, recommend ; but it is 
Peking which appoints, and it is only the central govern- 
ment which can promote, transfer, or cashier. This keeps 
the provincial officials, from the highest to the lowest, in a 
proper state of discipline. Appointment to one post is made 
for a term of three years ; for Viceroys and Governors this 
limitation is often, even usually, disregarded, as when we 
see Li Hung-chang holding the Viceroyalty at Tientsin for 
nearly thirty years continuously ; but this exception is 
explained by the desire to utilise to the utmost the great 
experience of these high officials, and by the strong party 
backing which put them in their high positions, and which 
is strengthened by the patronage which is then at their 
disposal. For officials lower in rank the rule is almost 
universally followed ; they may be reappointed once, but 
at the end of their second triennial term at latest they must 
strike root afresh in new surroundings, and, incidentally, 
must again contribute to the maintenance of their superiors, 
as is explained in the next chapter. 

Another restriction is peculiar to China, and is never 
relaxed ; no official is ever appointed to a post in the 
province of his birth. The military are an exception, but 
they exercise little influence, and Manchuria is governed by 
Manchus ; otherwise the rule is invariable. The Chinese 
never voluntarily abandon the homestead, or surrender their 
interest in the ancestral shrine ; and every official is an 
alien to the people he rules, often unable to understand the 
dialect they speak. He brings his family connections with 
him as secretaries and purveyors, and, if he is a Viceroy or 
Governor, he brings a bodyguard of his co-provincials, loyal 
to his person ; but otherwise he is surrounded by aliens. 


No Hupeh man may hold an official post in Hupeh, nor 
Kiangsu man in Kiangsu. When Li Hung-chang left the 
Viceroyalty at Tientsin, the post to which he would naturally 
have gone was the other great Viceroyalty, that at Nanking ; 
but his native province, Anhwei, is in the Nanking Vice- 
royalty, and he went to Canton instead. Tsen Chun-siian, 
a man of great force of character, native of Kwangsi, made 
a name as provincial Treasurer of Kwangtung, and was 
promoted to be acting Viceroy of Szechwan ; in 1903 he 
was the obviously indicated man to restore order in the 
Canton Viceroyalty, and was sent back there ; but though, 
as a Kwangsi man, he could rule at Canton as provincial 
Treasurer of Kwangtung, he could not be substantive 
incumbent at Canton of the Viceroyalty of which Kwangsi 
forms part, and went therefore as acting Viceroy ; in 1906 
he was appointed substantive Viceroy to Yunnan. 

Another practice is a matter of policy rather than of 
rule, and is only possible in a country where all appointments 
are made by a central authority. Parties exist in China 
as in other countries, and as in other countries are as often 
the following of a man as of a principle. In the exercise of 
patronage at Peking the principle of divide et impera in the 
provinces is followed in this as in other ways The principle 
is that which animated Washington in the selection of his 
first cabinet, and may be understood if we suppose that in 
the United States the federal government appointed to any 
state a Republican as Governor, a Democrat as Lieutenant- 
Governor, a Republican as State Secretary, a Democrat as 
State Treasurer, and so on. For three decades from i860 
there were two great parties in China, the Hunan men and 
their adherents, following Tseng Kwo-fan, and later Tso 
Tsung-tang, and the Anhwei men and their adherents, fol- 
lowing Li Hung-chang and Li Han-chang ; the former were 
generally conservative, and the latter generally, but moder- 
ately, progressive, and the men of other provinces, disre- 
garding provincial lines, ranged themselves with one or 
other of these parties. Latterly the Canton party, ultra- 
progressive, after a check in 1898, has again come to the 


front. In making provincial appointments care is always 
taken to balance these parties ; and in the general ad- 
ministration, exercising their functions at the provincial 
capital, an official will seldom be of the same party as his 
immediate superior or his immediate subordinate, while 
the appointments to prefectures and magistracies will be 
fairly divided between the parties. This, of course, implies 
that the Emperor is able to maintain the same balance of 
influence in his Ministries, apart from the equilibrium main- 
tained between Manchu and Chinese. In the provinces 
further equilibrium is maintained by the occasional appoint- 
ment of Manchus, who are above party, and who number 
usually about a fifth of the official hierarchy. 

With all these balances and checks much more may be 
left to the local authority, and, so long as the province 
furnishes its quota towards the maintenance of the Imperial 
Government and preserves a semblance of order, or settles 
its disturbances with the means at its disposal, it is left to 
go its own way and to have a quasi-autonomy. But, while 
these rights are granted and direct governance is reduced 
to a minimum, there is also an absence of direct oversight 
and of holding the provinces responsible for the due per- 
formance of their duties. If a breach of the Yellow River 
occurs in Honan, the Honan authorities must attend to it ; 
but it is no part of their duty to so direct the work of re- 
storation that the adjoining province of Shantung shall not 
surfer ; that is the concern of the Shantung authorities. 
If a rebellion in Kwangsi is held in check, and the rebels, 
cornered, escape across the Hunan border, " e'en let him 
go, and thank God you are rid of a knave " ; they are then 
the affair of the Hunan authorities. Salt smugglers on the 
border between Kiangsu and Chekiang have a merry time 
dodging back and forth across the border, and are brought 
to book only on the rare occasions when the two provinces 
loyally join forces. This will be remedied with the further 
centralisation of power ; but we are dealing with China as 
it has been and is. 

The administrative organisation of each of the provinces 


is much the same, and the duties of each of the officials will 
now be described. 

Tsung-tu, commonly called Chihtai, Governor-General, 
ordinarily styled Viceroy, though there is nothing in the 
office or its title of the viceregal idea. As ex officio Presi- 
dent of a Board, he styles himself and is addressed as Pu- 
tang. He is the highest in rank of the civilian officials of 
the provincial administration, but in theory ranks after, 
though he is not subordinated to, the Tartar General, when 
one is stationed within his viceroyalty ; and he has control 
over the military forces, other than the Manchu garrison, 
within his jurisdiction. In some cases he is actually Gover- 
nor, though with the power and rank of Governor-General, 
of one province only ; in others he has jurisdiction over two- 
or three provinces, each of which has (by the old theory), 
its own Governor ; and still other provinces, each with its 
Governor, are subordinated to no Governor-General. The 
distribution is shown by the following table, in which " ex- 
Governor " indicates that a Governor was installed up to 
1905, in which year an Imperial edict abolished the Governor- 
ship of those provinces in which a Viceroy had his seat. 

Metropolitan Province : — 

Chihli . . no Governor 

Chihli (Tientsin) 

Three adjoining Provinces : — 

Shantung . . Governor 
Shansi . . Governor 
Honan . . Governor 


under no Vice- 

Outlying Provinces : — 

Kiangsu . . Governor* 
Anhwei . . Governor 
Kiangsi . . Governor 
Shensi . . Governor 
Kansu . . no Governor 



Liang - Kiang 

Shen-Kan Vice- 

* Not abolished, because the provincial capital, seat of the 
Governor, is Soochow, while the Viceregal residence is Nanking. 

6 4 






Min-Che Vice 


no Governor 



Hu - Kwang 

Szechwan Vice 

Kwangtung . . 








Liang - Kwang 

Yun-Kwei Vice 





For the Eighteen Provinces there are thus eight Viceroys, 
and originally fifteen Governors, now reduced to eleven. 
The Viceroy, though of higher rank and looming larger in 
the eyes of the world, is in the provincial administration 
a superior colleague to the Governor, and in all matters, 
orders to subordinates or memorials to the Throne, the two 
act conjointly. 

Sun-fu, commonly called Futai, the " Inspector " or 
Governor ; addressed as Pu-yuan by virtue of his Vice- 
Presidency of the Board of War. He is the supreme head 
of the province, except in so far as his action is restricted by 
the presence of a Viceroy. The post has been abolished 
(in 1905) in those provinces in which a Viceroy resides. 

Pu-cheng Shih-sze, commonly called Fantai, Provincial 
Treasurer, with some of the functions of a Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor. He is the nominal head of the civil service in each 
province, in whose name all patronage is dispensed, even 
when directly bestowed by the Governor, and is treasurer of 
the provincial exchequer, in this capacity providing the 
Imperial Government with a check on his nominal superior, 
the Governor. 

An-cha Shih-sze, commonly called Niehtai, Provincial 
Judge. He is charged with the supervision over the 
criminal law, and acts as a final (provincial) court of appeal 
in criminal cases, and has jurisdiction over offences by pro- 
vincial officials. He also supervises in a general way the 
Imperial courier service. 


Yen-yun Shih-sze, Salt Comptroller, in some provinces, 
and Yen-yun Tao, Salt Intendant, in other provinces, con- 
trol the manufacture, movement, and sale of salt under the 
provincial gabelle, and the revenue derived from it. 

Liang Tao, Grain Intendant, in twelve of the eighteen 
provinces, controls the collection of the grain tribute, in 
kind or commuted. 

The last four officials, the Sze-Tao (or as many of them 
as may be found in the province) next below the Governor, 
constitute ex officio the Shan-how Ku, " Committee of Re- 
organisation," a deliberating and executive Board of pro- 
vincial government ; and the six enumerated above form 
the general provincial administration, residing at the 
capital, except that the Chihli Viceroy now (since 1861) 
resides at Tientsin, and the Liang-Kiang Viceroy has his 
seat at Nanking. 

Below the Fantai in rank and above the Niehtai is the 
Ti-hioh Sze, Commissioner of Education, a new post 
created on the institution of the Hioh Pu in 1903. This is 
not an administrative post, and its incumbent is not a 
member of the Shan-how Ku. 

The unit for administrative purposes within the province 
is the Hsien, or district, as will be explained below ; two or 
three or more (up to five or six) districts collectively form 
a Fu or prefecture ; and two or more prefectures are placed 
under the jurisdiction of a Taotai. There are also two 
other classes, the Chow and Ting, each of two kinds ; the 
Chow and Ting proper are a superior kind of Hsien, being 
component parts of a Fu ; the Chihli-chow and Chihli-ting 
are an inferior kind of Fu, both having as direct a relation 
to the provincial government as a Fu, but the latter dis- 
tinguished from the Fu by having no Hsien subordinated 
to it. 

Fen-sun Tao, the " Sub-Inspector," commonly trans- 
lated Intendant of Circuit, and usually called Taotai ; has 
administrative control over a circuit comprising two or 
three Fu, or sometimes one or two Fu and a Chihli-chow 
or a Chihli-ting, and is in certain matters the intermediary 


of communication between them and the provincial govern- 
ment ; but the circuit is not an official division of the 
province, and is nowhere marked on any map. He is the 
civil authority in control of the military forces within his 
jurisdiction, and as such is distinguished from Salt and 
Grain Taotais by the title Ping-pei Tao, " the Taotai (in 
charge of) military preparation." He is usually the Super- 
intendent (colleague of the Commissioner) of the Custom 
House, if any, within his circuit, and is then styled Kwan 
Tao, " Customs Taotai " ; but this is not the case in the 
Kwangtung ports, where formerly the Hoppo, and since 
1904 the Viceroy, is Superintendent, nor in the Fukien 
ports, of which the Tartar General holds the post. At 
Tientsin there is a special Customs Taotai in addition to 
the territorial Taotai. 

Chih-Fu, the " Knower of a Prefecture," commonly 
translated Prefect. He is supervising officer of the largest 
political division within a province, the Fu, of which each 
province has from seven to thirteen, with a total of 183 for 
the Eighteen Provinces. He deals more with the external 
relations of his Fu than with its internal administration, 
and is more a channel of communication than an executive 
officer, but acts as a court of appeal from the Hsien's 
court. He has no separate Fu city, but the Hsien city 
in which he resides is known generally by the Fu name, 
though on Chinese maps both the Fu and Hsien names 
are printed. 

Tung-Chih, the " Joint Knower " or Deputy Prefect, is 
either in charge of a Chow or Chihli-ting, or exercises the 
delegated power of a Prefect in a branch of his functions, 
such as maritime defence, water communications, control 
of aboriginal tribes, etc. 

Tung-pan, Assistant Deputy Prefect, holds office under 
the Prefect, in charge of police matters, revenue, etc. 

Chih-Chow, " Knower of a Chow," is either in charge 
of a Chihli or independent Chow, with prefectural functions, 
and subordinated to no Prefect but reporting direct to the 
provincial government ; or is, like a Tung-chili of the first 


class, in charge of a subordinated Chow. Under this grade 
are also Chow-tung and Chow-pan. 

Chih-Hsien, " Knower of the Hsien," or District 
Magistrate, whose functions will be described below. In 
the Eighteen Provinces there are 1,443 Hsien and 27 in 
Manchuria, making 1,470 in all. Below the Chih-hsien 
are subordinate officials — Deputy Magistrate, Sub-Deputy 
Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, Jail Warden, etc., etc., 
but they have no independent status. 

The " Fu Chow Hsien " constitute the general ad- 
ministrative body of the provincial civil service. They are 
charged in varying degrees with the collection of revenue, 
the maintenance of order, and the dispensation of justice, 
as well as with the conduct of literary examinations and 
of the government courier service, and in general with the 
exercise of all the direct functions of public administration. 
A specimen proclamation, given by Mr. Parker,* well 
illustrates the gradations of rank of the provincial officials 
from highest to lowest. 

" The Magistrate has had the honour to receive 
instructions from the Prefect, who cites the directions 
of the Taotai, moved by the Treasurer and the Judge, 
recipients of the commands of their Excellencies the 
Viceroy and Governor, acting at the instance of the 
Foreign Board, who have been honoured with His 
Majesty's commands. . . . [commands end.] Respect 
this. Duly communicated to the Yard, or Yards 
[end of line] , who command the sze [end of line] , who 
move the tao [end], who instructs the fu (end), who 
sends down to The Hsien, etc. [Note how the Hsien, 
as imperial agent, gives himself capital letters.] We 
therefore enjoin and command all and several, etc." 

The same gradation is also exemplified in the accom- 
panying diagram, in which, however, the exigencies of space 
require the apparent subordination of the Taotai to the 
Sze, while he is actually " with but after " the Sze. His- 
* "China, Her History, etc.," by E. H. Parker, 1901. 


torically the Governor is an interloper, dating back only to 
the Ming Dynasty, being originally a visiting inspector 
delegated by the Imperial Government to supervise and 
report on the working of the provincial administration, but 
tending by degrees to become a fixture ; in some important 
functions of government the Pu-cheng Shih-sze, the original 
Governor, the present Provincial Treasurer, still in theory 
remains the chief. The Viceroy dates back only to the last 
century of Ming rule. The Taotai is still more modern, 
dating from the beginnings of the present dynasty. So is 
the Fu, but historically he is the modern representative of 
the thirty-six provincial rulers of the Tsin dynasty (b.c. 221) 
and of the Han which followed it. The Chow is also a 
modern revival, representing the rulers of provincial areas 
(Chow) instituted B.C. 140. The Hsien is perhaps the 

A few words must be said on the functions of government 
in the provinces which are not provided by the official 
hierarchy. Every Chinese official is supposed to be qualified 
to undertake every branch of human enterprise, from 
railway engineering to street scavenging, from the inter- 
pretation of the law to the execution of criminals, and to 
accept full responsibility for the consequences of his acts 
or the acts of his subordinates. In effect, however, this 
Jack-of-all-trades attitude is offset by the natural wish for 
expert aid, and by the equally natural tendency to create 
a gainful office whenever possible. Extra-official functions 
are delegated by the responsible officials, just as in Mas- 
sachusetts the elected executive delegates certain of his 
functions to police, railway, insurance and charity com- 
missions nominated by himself — i.e. by the exercise of 
patronage. In China this delegated employment is actually 
so-called, chai-shih ; and the Director of an arsenal con- 
trolling the expenditure of millions, the officials of the 
likin collectorate, the Viceroy's adviser on international 
or on railway matters, and a deputy who does little more 
than carry messages, are alike in theory only the delegates 
ad hoc of the appointing power. These unofficial officials 


are selected from the official class, the class known as 
" expectant " Hsien, Fu, or Tao men qualified to serve in 
the posts for which they are expectant, inscribed on the 
register of the Board of Civil Office, but not yet nominated 
to a substantive post. Entry to this state of expectancy 
is in theory the result of examination in literature ; this 
is a glorious tradition ; a hundred years ago it was in 
the main probably true, but to-day money and political 
influence are the keys which open the gates of political 

IV. The Township and Village 

The Hsien is the civic, political, judicial and fiscal unit 
of Chinese life ; it comprises one walled city,* or in the case 
of many of the provincial capitals the half of a walled city 
(in the case of Soochow the third of the city), with the 
country immediately around it. In it every Chinese 
subject is inscribed, and this inscription he does not willingly 
forfeit or abandon, no matter to what part of the Empire 
or of the outer world his vocation may call him. Here is 
his ancestral temple if he is of the gentry, his ancestral 
home in any case ; here will he return, if permitted, in the 
evening of his life, and here will his bones be sent should he 
die abroad. During the whole of his life he is identified 
with his Hsien ; it may be convenient, and may elucidate 
his political policy, to speak of Li Hung-chang as an Anhwei 
man, but to his fellow-countryman he is the Hofei (hsien) 

The official head of this district is the Chih-hsien, who 
may be called Mayor, if it be understood that the municipal 
limits extend until they meet the territory of the adjoining 
municipalities. His official salary may be from Tls. 100 
to Tls. 300 (£15 to £50) a year, with an allowance " for the 
encouragement of integrity among officials " amounting 
to three or four times his salary ; the emoluments of his 

* The cases of cities without walls, in outlying corners of the 
Empire, are so very few as not to affect the general statement. 


office, however, may be from a hundred to a thousand times 
his nominal salary, but from them he has to provide for 
the maintenance of his subordinates and his superiors, as is 
explained in the next chapter. He is appointed to his post 
generally from the list of expectants, either because he is 
the son of his father, or because of a sufficient contribution 
to what in Western countries would be the party campaign 
fund, or because of good work done in a Chai-shih ; occa- 
sionally, even now, a high scholar is appointed because of 
his scholarship, but it is seldom to a lucrative post. To 
the different districts of the Empire are applied, according 
to the facts of the case, none or one or two or three or 
all of the four qualifying adjectives, " busy, troublesome, 
wearisome, difficult." * The Hsien is duly equipped with 
Treasurers, Collectors, Secretaries, Clerks, Jailers, Runners, 
Constables, etc., many of whom hold their position by 
hereditary right or custom ; but an official in China, though 
he may delegate his functions, can never delegate or absolve 
himself from responsibility, and the Hsien is personally 
responsible for every act of what we may call the municipal 
government. He is everything in the municipality, and 
some of the most important of his functions must be 

The judicial function is the most important. He is 
Police Magistrate, and decides ordinary police cases. He is 
Court of First Instance in all civil cases ; the penalty for 
taking a case first to a higher court is fifty blows with the 
bamboo on the naked thigh ; appeal from his court lies to 
the Fu, and by that time the resources of the litigants are 
usually exhausted. Civil cases are usually settled by the 
guilds in towns, and by village elders or by arbitration of 
friends in the country ; but they may come before the 
official tribunal, when the plaintiff wishes his pound of 
flesh and the blood of his victim as well. The Hsien is also 
Court of First Instance in criminal cases, though a first 
hearing may for convenience be held by an Assistant Magis- 

* " The Office of District Magistrate in China," by Byron Brenan. 
Journal, China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1898, 


trate ; appeal lies to the Fu and cases involving the death 
penalty are reviewed by him ; death warrants are signed 
by the Niehtai, except in case of rebellion or of riot capable 
of being stigmatised as such, when summary justice is 
inflicted. Appeal from the death penalty may also, and 
in the case of officials does, go to the Hing Pu at Peking. 
The Hsien is also coroner, with all the duties of that office, 
and hears suits for divorce and breach of promise ; he is 
also prosecuting attorney, while a defendant may employ 
a lawyer only to draw up his plea, but not to conduct his 
defence ; he is also sheriff to execute all judgments of his 
own or a superior court ; and is jail warden, responsible for 
the custody and maintenance of prisoners before and after 
trial. If there is any part of the judicial function which 
has been omitted, he is responsible for that too. 

The fiscal function comes next in importance. As is 
explained in the next chapter, the Hsien is the agent of the 
provincial and of the Imperial administrations in collecting 
the land tax and the grain tribute, but he has no concern 
with the special tributes or with the salt gabelle or likin ; 
with them his sole connection is the duty of protecting the 

He is also Registrar of Land, and the system of verifica- 
tion is so thorough that a deed of sale certified by his seal 
may be accepted as a warranty of title. 

He is Famine Commissioner for his district. It is his 
duty to see that the public granaries are kept full, and to 
distribute relief in time of distress. He is also Moth and 
Locust Commissioner to combat those plagues, and, except 
along the Yellow River, is solely responsible for the pre- 
vention of floods and reparation of their damage. 

He is the local representative of the Kung Pu, and 
the Provincial Treasurer in the custody of official buildings, 
and sees to the maintenance in order of city walls,* prisons, 
official temples, and all other public buildings ; and must 

* In cities like Soochow, divided between two or three Hsien, 
the maintenance of the walls is not also divided, but is entrusted to 
the superior officer, the Fu. 


maintain the efficiency and provide for the expenses of the 
Government courier service from border to border of his 
district. From his own funds he must execute such repairs 
as are ever effected to bridges and the things called roads, 
must see that schools are maintained, and must call upon 
the wealthy to contribute for public and philanthropic 
purposes. He maintains order, sees to the physical well- 
being of his district, and is the guardian of the people's 

These are the principal functions of the Mayor of the 
Chinese municipium, and under the paternal government 
of this " Father and Mother of the People " the ruled might 
be expected to be a body of abject slaves. This is far from 
being the case. In most countries the people may be 
divided into the law-abiding and the lawless ; in China a 
third division must be noted — those who, though innocent 
of offence, come within the meshes of the law through the 
machinations of enemies. This, however, only serves to 
redress the balance, since the Chinese are essentially a 
law-abiding people, and in the country, at least, are guilty 
of few crimes below their common recreations of rebellion 
and brigandage. These they indulge in periodically when 
the harvest is in, if for any reason, such as flood or drought, 
the crops have been deficient ; but, apart from this and 
apart from the regular visits of the tax-collector, it is 
doubtful if the actual existence of a government is brought 
tangibly to the notice of a tenth, certainly not to a fifth, 
of the population. The remaining eighty or more per cent, 
live their daily life under their customs, the common law 
of the land, interpreted and executed by themselves. Each 
village is the unit for this common-law government, the 
fathers of the village exercising the authority vested in 
age, but acting under no official warrant, and interpreting 
the customs of their fathers as they learned them in their 
youth. The criminal law is national ; but, with a more 
or less general uniformity, each circumscription has its own 
local customs in civil matters. Questions of land tenure, 
of water rights, of corvees (when not Imperial), of temple 


privileges, of prescriptive rights in crops, may, in details, 
differ from district to district, will probably differ from 
Fu to Fu, and will certainly differ from province to province. 
Such differences are, however, immaterial ; the man of 
the country knows possibly only his own village and is not 
concerned with any district other than his own. That 
local custom in an adjoining district would alienate from 
him the foreshore accretion to his own farm concerns him 
but little, if the custom of his own district grants it to 
himself ; while the resident in the former does not think 
of claiming rights which were never claimed by his fathers. 
In matters of taxation, too, custom is the guiding principle. 
The government and the tax-collector are always trying 
to get more ; this is understood ; but the people, strong- 
based on custom, maintain an unending struggle to pay 
this year no more than they paid last year, and increment 
is wrung from them only after an annually renewed contest. 
In case of a general and marked increase the struggle is 
more pronounced, and may lead to riot and arson in the 
case of villagers, and in the case of traders to the peculiarly 
Chiuese method of resistance, the " cessation of business/' 
a combination of lock-out, strike, and boycott — a strong 
weapon against the magistrate, whose one aim is to serve 
his term without a disturbance sufficiently grave to come 
to the notice of his superiors. 

The official head of the village is the Tipao, " Land 
Warden," nominated by the magistrate from the village 
elders, but dependent upon the good will of his constituents. 
Several small villages may be joined under one Tipao, and 
a large village will be divided into two or three wards, each 
with its Tipao ; while a village which, as is often the case, 
consists of the branches of one family holding its property 
in undivided commonalty, will have naturally as its Tipao 
the head of the family. The Tipao acts as constable, and 
is responsible for the good conduct and moral behavior 
of every one of his constituents ; he is also responsible for 
the due payment of land tax and tribute. He is the official 
land-surveyor of his village, and has the duty of verifying 


titles and boundaries on every transfer of land ; and the 
fees and gratuities from this, and the power over his fellow- 
villagers given by the other duties of the post, endow the 
Tipao with so much local importance, that the old com- 
munal theory is lost to a great extent, and the appointment 
is often in practice a matter of purchase. 

The town is considered a collection of villages, being 
divided into chia, " wards," each with its Tipao, whose 
duties are the same as those of his country colleague. The 
town has, however, its commercial questions, but these 
are almost, if not quite, invariably settled by the Guild 
concerned, in accordance with guild rules, and are seldom 
brought to the cognisance of the officials. 

Of the relations between town and country it may be 
said that the interests of the countryman, peaceful and 
law-abiding, are sacrificed to those of the town dwellers, 
rowdy and competitive. The direct taxes, land tax and 
tribute, are assessed on rental value for farming land, and 
town property is subjected to no great increase from this 
rating. The movement of food supplies, too, is prohibited 
or sanctioned, not according to the interests of the producing 
farmer, but to meet the needs of the consuming townsman. 

The Army 

The military organisation of the Chinese Empire is 
divided into two branches, the Manchu and the Chinese. 


Dating from the time of the Manchu conquest during 
the first half of the seventeenth century, the Manchu 
" nation in arms " has been divided into eight " Banners," 
three superior and five inferior. The three Superior Banners 
are : (i) The Bordered Y ellow (yellow being the color of 
the Imperial family) ; (ii) The Plain Yellow ; and (hi) The 
Plain White. The five Inferior Banners are : (iv) The 
Bordered White ; (v) The Plain Red ; (vi) The Bordered 


Red ; (vii) The Plain Blue ; and (viii) The Bordered Blue. 
Each of the eight Banners is further divided into three 
" nations " — viz., (a) Manchu, (b) Mongol, and (c) Chinese, 
the last consisting of the descendants of the natives of 
North China who joined the Manchu invaders during the 
time of the conquest. Just as every Chinese is inscribed 
in his native district, in which he is liable (in theory) to 
tribute while living, and to which his bones are taken when 
dead, so all living Manchus and all descendants of the 
Mongol and Chinese soldiery of the conquest are inscribed 
in their proper Banners, under which they (are supposed to) 
fight to maintain the conquest and receive their quota of 
the tribute and other (theoretic) benefits of the conquest. 
Each Banner (Ki) has for each of its nations (Kusai) a 
Lieutenant-General (Tutung), a Deputy Lieutenant-General 
(or Brigadier), and Adjutant-Generals, two each for the 
Manchu and Chinese, and one for the Mongol nation of the 
Banner. Each Banner is divided into regiments (chala), 
five Manchu, five Chinese and two Mongol, each with its 
Colonel (Tsanling), Lieutenant-Colonel, and Adjutant. 
Under them are Captains (Tsoling), each charged with 
command and supervision over 70 to 100 households of 
the Banner, Lieutenants, and Corporals. The main force 
of the eight Banners is " encamped " in Manchuria and in 
and around Peking, and is provided in the capital with 
rations drawn from the tribute rice, of which some two 
million piculs (125,000 tons) are received annually. Outside 
Peking is the " military cordon " of twenty-five cities of 
Chihli, at which are settled military colonies drawn from 
the eight Banners. Outside these, again, are the provincial 

When the conquest was completed, the Manchus had 
the good sense to associate the Chinese with themselves in 
the government of the empire, and to hold the country by 
garrisons stationed at a few strategic points ; and, in the 
original scheme, the garrisons in the provinces made a 
total of half the garrison of the capital. Of the provincial 
garrisons about half were in a northern belt, designed partly 


as an outer defence to the capital, partly to look out on 
Mongolia ; these are at the following places : — 

Shantung : Tsingchow and Tehchow. 

Honan : Kaifeng. 

Shansi : Kweihwa, Suiyuan, and Taiyuanfu. 

Shensi : Sianfu. 

Kansu : Ninghia, Liangchow, and Chwangliang. 

The garrisons designed primarily to hold down the 
conquered Chinese were stationed at the following places : 

Szechwan : Chengtu. 

Hupeh : Kingchow (guarding the outlet of the Yangtze 

Kiangsu : Nanking, with sub-garrison at Chinkiang. 

Chekiang : Hangchow, with sub-garrison at Chapu, once 
its seaport, now silted up. 

Fukien : Foochow. 

Kwangtung : Canton. 

In six provinces there are no garrisons — five of them in 
the air strategically, Kiangsi, Hunan, Kweichow, Yunnan 
and Kwangsi, and the sixth, Anhwei, being until Kanghi's 
time administratively part of Kiangsu. 

In each of the eleven provinces thus constituting the 
Marches of the Manchu Empire is stationed a Warden of 
the Marches, the Manchu Generalissimo or Field Marshal 
(Tsiang Kiin), commonly called Tartar-General, ranking 
with, but before the Viceroy or Civil Governor-General, not 
generally interfering with the civil government, but, though 
now innocuous, originally able to impose his will upon his 
civilian colleague. Notwithstanding his high rank, he has 
now no more power or influence in the defence of the Empire 
than the Warden of the Cinque Ports has in that of England. 


Apart from the effete Manchu army, the military forces 
of the Empire may be divided into two classes : (a) the 
ineffective official army under military command ; (b) the 
effective unofficial army under civilian command. The 


official army, constituting the provincial militia, is designated 
the Army of the Green Standard, and in the coast and 
riverine provinces is divided into land and water forces. 
The greater part constitutes the Ti-piao or Commander-in- 
Chief's force, being under his direct command ; a small 
body constitutes the Fu-piao, or Governor's command ; 
and, where there is a Governor-General, there is also a 
Viceroy's command, Tu-piao. The army divisions are 
territorial, the province being the highest unit. The 
provincial Commander-in-Chief is the Titu, commonly 
styled Titai and addressed as Kunmen (" Gate to the 
Camp "). The forces under his command are divided 
into brigades, chen-piao, under the command of a Brigadier, 
Tsungping, commonly styled Chentai. The brigades are 
divided into territorial regiments, hieh, under a Colonel, 
Futsiang, commonly styled Hiehtai ; and these again into 
battalions, ying (or " camps "). Under the Hiehtai are 
Lieutenant-Colonel (Tsantsiang), Major (Yuki), Senior 
Captain (Tusze), Junior Captain (Showpei), Lieutenant 
(Tsientsung) , Sergeant (Patsung). The official hierarchy 
of this army exists solely for the purpose of personal profit 
and self -maintenance, the last thing they desire being to 
lead their brave followers into action, even against an 
unarmed mob ; while the rank and file exist mainly on 
paper, but partly in the shape of gaudy uniforms to be 
filled, for inspection purposes, by temporary recruits en- 
listed for the day. Only at some places, such as the Kwang- 
si-Tonkin frontier, the provincial Commander-in-Chief is 
associated in the command of effective troops, outside his 
own official organisation, for the preservation of peace 
and order and the protection of his district. 

The effective army is entirely, except for the possible 
intervention of the Titai alone, outside the official military 
organisation of the Empire or of the province. In this too 
the unit is the province, and the effective armed forces of 
the provinces are under the direct command of the civil 
authority, the Viceroys and Governors, who themselves 
lead them in chief for the suppression of serious rebellion. 


This force dates from the Taiping rebellion (1850-64), when 
the official organisation was found ineffective and un- 
warlike, and the provincial rulers, such as Tseng Kwo-fan 
in the west and Li Hung-chang in the east, were driven 
to raise bodies of irregulars or volunteers, styled yung 
(brave), after the fashion of the volunteers of the French 
Revolution or of the year of Leipzig. In these the highest 
unit of organisation was the battalion, ying (camp), nomin- 
ally of five hundred men, commanded by a battalion-chief, 
ying-kwan, divided into five companies, shao, commanded 
by a Shao-kwan. For combined action any number of 
battalions from two to ten or more formed a command, 
with no distinctive name, under a Tung-ling. This con- 
stituted the fighting army of China, such as it was, until, 
forty years after its first formation, its best representative, 
the " foreign drilled " army of the north, went down before 
the Japanese in 1894 ; and on this foundation is erected the 
" New Model " army now in process of organisation. 


The devolution of responsibility in the repression of 
disorder is shown in the following item of news : 

Peking, December 14th, 1906. 

On December nth, the Grand Councillors personally received 
an Imperial Decree to the effect that the rioters on the borders 
of Kiangsi and Hunan are furiously raging and that Tuan Fang 
(Viceroy at Nanking), Chang Chih-tung (Viceroy at Hankow), 
and Tsen Chun-ming (Governor of Kiangsi) are ordered to 
despatch troops to the scene of the troubles in order to suppress 
the same and capture the culprits and at the same time to give 
protection for the railway between Pingsiang and Liling as 
well as the mines at Pingsiang and all the foreigners there. In 
case of failure the said Viceroys and Governors will be held 

On December 12th the Provincial Judge of Kiangsi, Ching 
Ping-chih is ordered to take command of the armies from the 


three provinces to settle the troubles in the districts affected 
by rioters. 

Nanchang, December 14th. 
Ching Ping-chi, Provincial Judge of Kiangsi, left Nanchang 
on December 14th for Pingsiang at the order of the Peking 
Government, and General Liu who is the commander of the 
Nanchang Brigade of the Standing Army and Admiral Hung 
Wei-lin with their forces followed the Provincial Judge. 



China is an Asiatic country. It seems absurd to re-state 
this truism, but in nothing is the fact more clearly marked 
than in its system of taxation, and its methods of providing 
for the expenses of administration. The Western mind is 
accustomed to the system of the common purse for one 
administrative area, into which all receipts are covered 
without being ear-marked for a definite purpose, and from 
which all payments are made irrespective of the source 
from which the funds are derived ; it is also accustomed 
to a complete severance of the budgets of the different 
administrative areas — national, state and municipal in 
America, national and municipal in Great Britain, Imperial, 
Royal, and municipal in Germany — with some exceptions, 
such as educational expenditure in Great Britain, and 
those due to more centralised forms of government, as in 
France. This makes it difficult for the Occidental to 
project his mind into the system which prevails in China, 
and still more difficult for him to distinguish, in the mass 
of what appears to him gross irregularity, what is due to 
the system and what to administrative and financial cor- 
ruption. The student of history will recall the admini- 
strative system of Europe of, say five centuries ago, and, 
if he has any knowledge of China, will find many points of 
resemblance in matters which we to-day have come to 
reprobate ; but any comparison is vitiated by the real 
difference between the feudal organisation of Europe of 
that time, and the consolidated government of China, with 
the Son of Heaven at the top and the mass of the people 



at the bottom, the Emperor's representatives, the officials 
appointed by his centralised power, forming the link be- 
tween the two. It is a matter of common knowledge that 
the income of the Chinese official is not in any degree 
measured by his official salary, that the annual profit of 
his office may be Tls. 100,000, with an official salary not 
exceeding Tls. 1,000. This sounds terrible to us ; and yet 
we do not have to go very far back to find a condition 
similar in kind, though perhaps not in degree, existing in 
Western countries. 

The Chinese official is nowadays less an administrator 
than a tax-collector ; but an infinitesimal portion of his 
revenues is wasted on such heads of expenditure as police, 
justice, roads, education, fire prevention, sanitation, or 
others of the numerous expenses falling on the official 
purse in the West ; so far as we, with our limited Occi- 
dental mind, can see, he exists solely for his own main- 
tenance and that of his fellow-officials, his superiors and 
his subordinates. This principle he, with his superior 
innate capacity, has developed further than was ever 
done in the West ; but the West can furnish, within 
comparatively modern times, some similitudes which will 
enable present-day readers to understand more clearly the 
system as it is to-day in China. The revenue returnable 
from each administrative area in China, town, county, or 
province, is assessed at a certain fixed sum, which, more 
or less, is the minimum which must be accounted for, and in 
practice this minimum constitutes the maximum sum 
which is returned : what is this but the system which, in 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, furnished the 
bloated fortunes of the farmers-general of France ? The 
administration of justice in China creates no charge upon 
the official revenues, but maintains itself from fees and 
exactions : Judge Jeffreys is infamous in history, but he 
furnished no exception to the practice of his day in swelling 
the revenues of his King and his country from the fees 
and fines of his court, and in augmenting his official income 
from the same source. Every Chinese official takes for 



himself, without question, the interest on his official balances; 
so did the English Paymasters of the Forces up to the time 
of Pitt, and probably for many years after his time ; cer- 
tainly until after Fox was appointed to the post. Even 
modern America, with the foundations of its government 
freed from all feudal substructure, in some of its legitimate 
and legalised practices, furnishes a moderate example of 
what in China is immoderate. Up to a very few years 
ago, the office of the Sheriff of the County of New York 
was maintained on principles inherited from the England 
of the eighteenth century; he received a salary ($5,000) 
and fees (averaging $60,000), and himself paid the salaries 
of his deputies, and provided for the expenses of his office : 
this is the Chinese system, except that, in China, the fees 
are taken and the work not done. The American consular 
system, up to the year of Grace 1906, furnished another 
illustration : the income, perfectly legitimate and legal, 
of the Consul to Mesopotamia, let us say, would consist 
of his salary, $3,000, and fees ranging from $1,000 to 
$10,000. These instances are adduced, not in any way 
to belittle the (what we, with our twentieth-century views, 
call) administrative corruption of the Chinese Empire, 
but to bring home to the Western mind the underlying 
principle upon which the Chinese system is based. 

Another distinction between the fiscal systems of the 
East and the West is in the " common purse." In England 
all national official revenue is covered into the Exchequer, 
in America into the Treasury. In China, theory and practice 
are divergent ; in theory, everything is subject to the Em- 
peror, land, property and revenue ; in practice, the revenue 
is assigned piecemeal from certain sources of collection 
to certain defined heads of Imperial expenditure, and 
must be remitted independently for the purposes assigned. 
One province, for example, may be assessed Tls.500,000 
as the Likin collection for the year ; instead of remitting 
this to the Imperial Treasury, or holding it subject to the 
order of the Treasury, Tls. 100,000 will be remitted direct 
to the Shanghai Taotai for the service of the foreign 


debt, Tls.50,000 will be remitted to the same officer for 
account of legations abroad, Tls.200,000 will be sent to 
Honan for Yellow River Flood Prevention account, 
Tls.50,000 will be retained for renewal of the provincial 
coast defences, Tls.50,000 will be sent to Peking for the 
Imperial Household, and Tls.50,000 will be assigned for 
the upkeep of the Imperial Mausolea. From some other 
source of revenue grants may be made to supplement 
the revenues of a poorer province ; of the eighteen pro- 
vinces, thirteen forward such grants in aid, and nine receive 
them, five both granting and receiving. We may even 
have province A remitting to B, B in turn to C, and C 
remitting to A, but each one of the three will remit in full ; 
no attempt is ever made to strike a balance and receive 
or remit the difference ; to do this would deprive some 
hard-working official of the fruits of his industry, in the 
profit derivable from the mere act of remitting. To prepare 
a national budget of revenue and expenditure would, in 
Parker's phrase,* " puzzle the shrewdest firm of chartered 
accountants.' ' 

Another element of perplexity, sufficient to prevent the 
ordinary mind from penetrating the mysteries of taxation 
in China, is found in the question of exchange. As will be 
seen in a later chapter, China has no coinage except the 
copper " cash," of which to-day it takes about 10,000 to 
equal a pound sterling and 2,000 an American dollar. Her 
silver currency has no one uniform standard, and the hun- 
dreds of standards known in the empire, or the dozen known 
in one place, vary within a range of over 10 per cent. Even 
the Imperial Treasury tael is an actuality only at the 
Imperial Treasury itself, and elsewhere in China is only 
a money of account. A typical case will be referred to 
later, where, on the tax-note, Treasury taels were converted 
into cash at 2,600 and converted back at 1,105, whereby 
a tax of Tls.7o-66 was converted into a payment of 
Tls.i66*20. But let us take an ordinary everyday incident 
of revenue collected in Kiangsu and remitted as a grant 
* " China, Past and Present," by E. H. Parker, 1903. 


in aid to Kansu. The tax-note will be in Treasury taels ; 
it will be paid in local taels ; the proceeds converted into 
Tsaoping taels for remittance to Shanghai, where it is 
converted into Shanghai taels ; again converted into 
Tsaoping taels for remittance to Kansu (assuming that 
it is remitted by draft), where it is received in local taels ; 
these are converted into Treasury taels for accounting with 
Kiangsu, and back again into local taels for deposit in a 
bank, and again into Treasury taels for accounting with 
the Imperial Treasury, and again into local taels or into 
cash for disbursement. This is no burlesque, but an exact 
account of what happens, and we have a series of nine 
exchange transactions, each of which will yield a profit 
of at least a quarter of one per cent, on the turn-over, 
apart from the rate of exchange on actual transfer from 
place to place, and altogether outside any question of 
" squeezing " the taxpayer. Moreover, as we are dealing 
with the past more than with the future, it is right to 
record that, regularly in the past and frequently in the 
present, the remittance is made by actually sending the 
silver from Kiangsu to Kansu, not reducing the exchange 
operations noted above by a single step, but adding enor- 
mously to the cost by the expense of transport and escort 
for a journey which must be counted by months and not 
by days. 

All these considerations must be borne in mind in any 
study of figures * purporting to represent the revenue and 
expenditure of the Chinese Empire. In Western budgets 
the receipt side includes the entire sum taken from the 
taxpayer for the maintenance of the fabric of government 
and the payment side gives the entire amount expended 
for administrative purposes. In China this is not so. A 
few heads of revenue may be regarded as strictly Imperial, 
such as the tribute and the receipts of that new and semi- 
foreign institution, the Maritime Customs. Other receipts 

* The principal authorities for the taxation and expenditure of 
China are E. H. Parker and George Jamieson, and any figures quoted 
will generally be from their writings. 


of the Imperial Treasury consist rather of surpluses handed 
over after providing for all costs of collection and all ex- 
penses of local administration ; they correspond somewhat 
to the matriculations of the German Empire ; they corre- 
spond more closely, perhaps, to the surplus remitted from 
Cyprus to Constantinople, after providing for the administra- 
tive expenses of the island. There are no figures available 
to show the enormous sums taken from the taxpayer and 
devoted to the maintenance of the army of officials engaged 
in collecting the revenue — sums the larger for being left, 
in the collecting, to the unregulated and uncontrolled 
discretion of the collectors. 


The heads of revenue collection may be divided into 
old and new. The old comprise : 1, Land Tax ; 2, Tribute ; 
3, Customs ; 4, Salt ; and 5, Miscellaneous (taxes, fees, 
tenures and licenses) ; the new are : 6, Foreign Customs ; and 
7, Likin ; with some new license fees which will fall under 5. 

1. Land Tax 

The foundation of Asiatic government is conquest, not 
the consent of the governed. When the various dynasties 
who have ruled China came into possession of the throne, 
they held the country in the hollow of their hand — Dieu 
et nion droit their motto — and the land and the fruit thereof 
became their property. Even an Asiatic government, 
however, does not carry all its theories into full practice, 
and the usufruct of the land of China is left to its occupiers, 
with full rights of transfer of possession ; but the rights of 
overlordship are recognised by the payment of land tax 
proportioned to the (original) rental value of the land. 
This revenue was formerly the main dependence of the 
Government in providing for its own needs, the amount 
remitted to Peking constituting, a hundred years ago, 
probably two-thirds of the cash receipts of the Imperial 
Treasury ; but a hundred years ago China had no urgent 


northern frontier question and no navy, and the remittances 
to the capital were required only for the maintenance of 
the Court and garrison and for the metropolitan administra- 
tion. Two hundred years ago, in 1713, the Emperor, quite 
in keeping with the Manchu practice of considering and 
conciliating their Chinese subjects in every way, decreed 
that the land tax throughout the Empire, as shown by the 
records of that year, was to be fixed and immutable for all 
time, no increase being permitted under any circumstances. 
This permanent settlement endures, in theory, to this day ; 
the tax-note for each lot of land to-day gives the rate of 
assessment of 1713, and the returns of the total collection 
are based upon the permanent settlement, subject to 
authorised reductions for the effects of rebellion, drought, 
and flood, and to re-augmentation on recovery when re- 
ported by the provincial authorities. 

The primary unit in China for fiscal, as for administrative 
and judicial, matters is the hsien or township, commonly 
called district, constituting what in America would be 
called an incorporated city with the surrounding country 
and its villages. The Chih-hsien or Magistrate (often 
called simply the Hsien) , in addition to his other numerous 
functions, is registrar of deeds and assessor and collector of 
taxes. All ownership and all transfers of land are, in theory, 
registered in his office, against a fee (see under 5, Miscella- 
neous taxes) , and validated by his seal affixed to the deeds ; 
the seal being impressed in vermilion ; these regularised deeds 
are called " red deeds." In practice this obligation is often 
evaded, and the deeds, not being sealed, are then called 
" white deeds." This evasion is so common that the Hsien 
and his officers ordinarily disregard the register of titles and 
go direct to the occupant ; and so much is the payment of 
land tax an incident of possession, especially in the case of 
farm lands, that holding land-tax receipts for three successive 
years is, in the absence of deeds, accepted as prima facie 
proof of ownership. The, tax-collector goes to the taxpayer 
and delivers the tax-note itemised in accordance with law 
(the permanent settlement) and precedent (the accretions 


resulting from many a battle and sanctioned by the custom 
of years). The amount shown as the total on the note is the 
amount which must be turned into the Hsien's treasury, 
and takes no account of the actual cost of collection, though 
an amount is always included for it ; for the Hsien, more 
sinico, pays his subordinates little or nothing as salary, but 
compels them to scratch around for their maintenance ; 
and even a tax-collector must live. The Hsien, however, 
arms his collectors with power, and thus armed they are 
enabled to extract their " costs of collection " from the tax- 
payer. The amount to be exacted is indeterminate, and 
forms the subject of a battle annually renewed between 
payer and payee ; but on an average it is quite safe to put 
it, at the very lowest estimate, at ten per cent, on the sum 
officially demanded. The official accretion is the accumu- 
lated result of repeated battles. As Jamieson puts it : 
" The fixing of these surcharges and the rates of commutation 
appears to be left mainly with the district magistrates, with 
the consent probably of the provincial treasurer. The 
Imperial Government does not, so far as I know, attempt 
to regulate such matters. The magistrates are mainly 
bound by old custom ; what has been done before is tolerated, 
but there is always a tendency to seize on every occasion to 
try to obtain a little more. This, if too much, provokes a 
riot, the magistrate gets into trouble with the people, and a 
haggling ensues until either the extra impost is abandoned 
or a modus vivendi is arrived at on some middle ground." 

In one district, as shown in the cases given below, 44 
per cent, is added for meltage fee, and 26 per cent, for an 
illusory "cost of collection " : in another the amount in taels 
is converted into cash at 2,600 to the tael, and converted 
back into taels at 1,105, being an addition of 135 per 
cent, and then 50 per cent, is added for " cost of collection." 
The latter method is the more usual, and cases are common 
and well known where the conversion into cash was at the 
rate of between 5,000 and 6,000, with the effect of increasing 
the land tax to over five times the statutory amount. 

For^the province of Honan we have an illuminating 



statement * by Mr. George Jamieson giving the amounts 
levied on land acquired for the railway with which he was 
officially connected. Land was bought in six different 
hsiens through which the line ran, to the amount of 9,216 
mows (the mow is roughly a sixth of an English acre). 
Regular deeds of transfer were obtained and in due course 
tax-notes were presented, the correctness of the charges 
being vouched for by the deputy of the Governor specially 
appointed to manage, from the Chinese side, the affairs of 
the railway. The tax-notes included land tax and com- 
muted grain tax, and they are so informing that two of them 
are given in full. 

In Hsun Hsien the syndicate bought : — 


Land held on ordinary tenure (" min t'ien ") . . 
,, ,, ,, military tenure (" tun t'ien ") 




The taxes account presented by the magistrate of this 
district translates as follows : — 

Land tax proper on 1,585-623 mow at 0-0368355 tael per 

For inferior touch or meltage fee, 44 per cent, on the above 
Expenses of collection at the rate of 300 copper cash on 

every tael of land tax. Cash, 17,520 
Grain tax at the rate of 0*005468 " shih " per mow on 

1 .493 7 5 mow (no levy on military land), equal to 8-169 

" shih " or piculs at 6,400 copper cash per picul. Cash, 

52,282 .. .. .... 



Kuping taels. 





The Kuping tael being a theoretical tael, the above was 
paid by converting it into local currency at the rate of 
103-71 local taels to ioo Kuping, giving 151*43 local taels 
as the equivalent. 

* "Land Taxation in the Province of Honan," 1905. 



Here we have the land tax as settled, " fixed and im- 
mutable," in 1713, increased by accretions, as legal and 
as regular as any tax in any country, from Tls. 5 8 '407 to 
Tls. 90/684, an addition of 71 per cent. ; and the commuted 
grain tribute, if we take the market price of grain at the 
very high rate of 2,000 cash a picul, increased from Tls. 14-474 
to Tls.46'3i6, an addition of 220 per cent. 
In Hsin Hsiang the syndicate bought : — 


Land on ordinary tenure 
,, „ military tenure 




The taxes account was presented as follows : — 

Land tax proper on 1,203-512 mow of common land at 

0-0548392 tael per mow 
Land tax proper on 105-845 mow of military land at 0*044 

tael per mow 







Payable at the rate of 2,600 copper cash per tael. Cash, 
183,710 .. 

Expenses of collection at the rate of 30 copper cash per 
mow on common land and 25 cash on military land. 
Total copper cash, 38,752, equal to 

Grain tax at the rate of 0-01255 piculs on common land 
(nothing on military land), total 15-1075 piculs, pay- 
able at the rate of 6,000 copper cash per picul. Total 
cash, 90,645, equal to 



Kuping taels. 



Note. — Equivalent in local currency to Tls. 293 -8 2. 

Here we have this fixed and immutable land tax in- 
creased from Tls. 70-657 to Tls. 201 -26, an addition of 186 


per cent., and the grain tribute increased from a legal maxi- 
mum of Tls. 27-34 to Tls. 82*02, an addition of 200 per cent. 
The extreme accuracy of calculation also is to be noted 
to seven places of decimals of a unit of currency with a 
present value of three shillings. The two accounts give an 
average addition to the land tax of 128 per cent., and to the 
grain tribute of 210 per cent. 

Mr. Jamieson goes on to show that these six districts 
in which land was bought are fairly representative of the 
soil of the whole of Honan ; and after noting that the 
average taxation (land tax and grain tribute together) was 
Tls.0-1.882 per mow, he proceeds to apply this average to 
the province. 

The area of Honan province is about 60,000 square miles. 
Assuming that two-thirds of this is under cultivation, the 
taxable area would be over 25,000,000 acres, or at 6 mow 
to the acre, say 150,000,000 mow of ground. In the Hwei 
Tien, the standard, though a somewhat antiquated statistical 
record of the Empire, the area actually registered as culti- 
vated is given as 63,986,185 mow. This was on the authority 
of the returns of the 17th year of Chia Ching (1812). The 
amount is likely to have increased since, and may now be 
approximately 150,000,000 mow. But take it on the Chia 
Ching returns, and supposing the taxation levied on the 
lands held by the syndicate is general, the yield of the land 
tax for the whole province should be Tls. 12,042,200. Or 
if we suppose, as seems more probable, that approximately 
150,000,000 mow pay taxes, the sum levied from the people 
would be well over Tls. 28,000,000, a sum which is not very 
far short of what is now returned for the whole Empire of 

Compared with the insignificant sum of less than 
Tls. 3,000,000 now returned by the province of Honan, 
these figures may well seem incredible, but I simply state 
facts as I find them. 

It will be well to proceed in another way in which we 
shall be on safer ground. It must be assumed that the 
railway corporation, a financially strong body, extraterri- 


torialised, and officially supported by the Government, pays 
its taxes by cheques direct to the Hsien, and is not compelled 
to submit to the mediation of the tax-collectors and pay them 
their expenses. It may further be safely assumed that the 
total collection reported for the province, even less in 
amount now than half a century ago, represents the tax 
of the permanent settlement. On these assumptions the 
land and grain tax collected in Honan may be calculated 
as follows : — 

Legal land tax, return of collection for year Taels. 

1900 . . . . . . . . . . 2,380,000 

Accretion at the rate of 128 per cent. . . . . 3,046,400 

Collectors' expenses at assumed rate of 10 per 

cent. . . . . 542,640 


Grain tribute commuted, return of 1900 . . ; . 480,000 
Accretion at the rate of 210 per cent. . . . . 1,008,000 

Collectors' expenses at 10 per cent. . . . . 148,800 


Total land and grain taxes . . . . . . 8,605,840 

against Mr. Jamieson's minimum estimate of Tls. 12,000,000, 
and a possible collection of Tls.28,000,000. Every student 
of things Chinese knows that Mr. Jamieson's minimum 
estimate is well within the mark, and that, to get at the 
amount paid by the taxpayer, the official return of the 
amount collected must be at least quadrupled ; what can 
be said seriously is that it can be proved that the amount 
is trebled. 

In applying the Honan figures to the rest of the Empire 
we are confronted by a difficulty. The permanent settle- 
ment was decreed by the second Tsing Emperor, Kanghi, 
and it is a matter of general knowledge that the earlier 
Manchu Emperors governed China with a light hand, and 


applied far less stringent rules to the remoter provinces 
than to those within easy reach of the capital. Chihli, the 
metropolitan province, has nearly half its area outside 
the Wall, under the Mongolian system, and nearly half the 
area within the Wall was granted in military tenure to 
Manchu princes and nobles, exempt from land tax ; and 
yet this province is third in the amount of land tax re- 
turned, collected from less than a third of its area. The 
three provinces (Shansi, Shantung, and Honan) immediately 
adjoining Chihli, and within the more direct reach of the 
Peking garrison, are respectively first, second and fourth 
on the list ; Shansi, rated above all other provinces, is poor 
and exposed to climatic vicissitudes, but is attackable from 
Peking and from Mongolia as well. Of the remoter pro- 
vinces it is sufficient to mention Kwangtung, one of the 
richest provinces of the Empire, rated tenth among the 
eighteen provinces ; and Hupeh, with great agricultural 
wealth, rated thirteenth. It is not for a moment to be 
supposed that the self-denying magnanimity of the Em- 
peror, seated on his throne at Peking, is imitated by his 
representatives to-day, far removed from the control of 
their overlord. Of Szechwan, Mr. Parker says : "I spent 
a year in that province, and found that customary ratings, 
allowances, etc., practically made the land tax in some 
districts ten times its nominal charge." In Kwangtung 
we have regularly applied to three districts in the vicinity 
of Canton the phrase shut shut, tso shut, tsou shut, literally 
" sleeping in-come, sitting in-come, walking in-come," which 
may be thus explained : the incumbent of the first may go to 
sleep, while his emoluments come rolling in ; in the second 
he may sit still, and his emoluments come rolling in ; in 
the third he must trot around, but his emoluments come 
rolling in. It is difficult to know just what allowance to 
make for this diversity of treatment in applying the Honan 
figures to the rest of the Empire, but we shall be well within 
the mark if we take the reported return for the four nearer 
provinces, and twice the reported return for the remoter 
provinces, as the basis from which to calculate the amount 



paid by the taxpayer ; and for this purpose Mr. Parker's 
figures * will be taken, except for Honan, where they are 
increased by Tls. 80,000. 



128 per cent. 

10 per cent. 

Total paid by 








































Kweichow . . 








































Kwangtung . . 













1 14,000 







Mr. Jamieson, applying the Honan average to the whole 
of China, says : — 

" In my revenue and expenditure report of 1897, I 
calculated there should be 650,000 square miles of culti- 
vated land in China, equivalent to (in round numbers, 
400,000,000 English acres or, at 6 mow per acre, 
2,400,000,000 mow. If the average which I consider good 
for Honan holds good generally for the Empire, the whole 
amount levied from the people as land tax would amount 
to Tls.451,000,000. { In the paper addressed by Sir 

* "China: Past and Present." 

f Amount returned, Tls. 2 5, 887, 000. 

X Mr. Jamieson's " average taxation " includes both land tax 
and commuted grain tribute. His land tax alone for the Empire 
would work out to Tls. 37 5,000,000. 


Robert Hart to the Chinese Government (printed in the North 
China Herald of April 15, 1904), recommending certain 
reforms in taxation, he calculated that the whole taxable 
land in China might amount to 4,000,000,000 mow, which, 
on the basis of 200 cash per mow, and taking a tael as equal 
to 2,000 cash, should yield a revenue of Tls.400,000,000. 
Sir Robert's estimate of the area under cultivation is greater 
than mine, but on the other hand his proposed levy of 200 
cash or 10 tael cents per mow is, I should consider, much 
under the average actually levied. The experience of the 
syndicate's railway in Honan shows an average of 0-1882 
tael, or nearly double the sum at which Sir Robert Hart 
puts it, so that if the present levy is only continued 
there should be Tls.400,000,000 forthcoming for Imperial 
purposes, and yet a very large sum left over for costs of 
administration and other provincial purposes." 

Many good authorities, other than these two, are in- 
clined to consider their figures as quite possible ; and a 
good illustration of the obscurity which veils the finances 
of China is furnished by the difference between the 
reported collection, Tls.26,000,000, the almost provable 
actual collection, Tls. 102,000,000, and the possible col- 
lection estimated by high authorities at Tls. 375, 000,000 to 

2. Tribute 

Tribute is another invariable incident of an Asiatic 
form of government, and has formed a considerable part of 
the revenues of the State under all the successive dynasties 
which have ruled China. In the earlier dynasties the 
taxation took mainly the form of tribute — i.e. payment in 
kind, and generally of silk and grain, a roll of silk and a 
picul of grain having approximately the same value. Under 
the Sung Dynasty, in a.d. 1004, the tribute amounted to 
49,169,900 pieces and piculs ; in 1049 it was increased to 
53,588,565, and in 1064 to 67,767,929 pieces and piculs.* 

* " Banking and Prices in China," by J. Edkins, 1905. 


In 1 148 the grain tribute from Chekiang, Kiangsu, and 
Hukwang, was 2,395,000 piculs. In 1324, under the Mongol 
Dynasty, the grain tribute amounted to 12,114,708 piculs, 
of which Chihli contributed 2,271,449 ; Honan, 2,591,269 ; 
Kiangsu and Chekiang, 4,494,783 ; and Kiangsi, 1,157,448 
piculs ; of this about 3,000,000 piculs were sent to Peking, 
the rest being retained in the provinces for the maintenance 
of the Government and the support of the Mongol garrisons. 
The tribute in kind required by the ruling Manchu Dynasty 
takes many forms, including silks from Hangchow, Soochow, 
and Nanking, porcelain from Kingtehchen, timber from 
Kiangsu, fruits from the southern coast, wax from Szechwan, 
etc. It also includes copper from Yunnan, the quantity 
required annually for coinage, before the introduction 
of foreign supplies, being calculated to be 85,000 piculs, 
of a value, by the market rates of 1906, of Tls.2, 500,000. 
The principal tribute under the Tsing, however, as under 
previous dynasties, is grain. Before the disorganisation 
caused by foreign wars and rebellion, during the early 
years of Taokwang (1821-50), the stipulated quantity 
required in an ordinary year to be sent to Peking was 
2,930,000 piculs of rice and 300,000 piculs of millet. 
Since the Taiping rebellion, of the eight provinces liable to 
grain tribute, Honan, Kiangsi, Hupeh, and Hunan have 
commuted it for an annual money payment, leaving Kiangsu, 
Chekiang, Anhwei, and Shantung still to pay in kind. It 
is estimated that from these four provinces about 400,000 
piculs continue to go by the Grand Canal, and the annual 
average of shipments by sea for the years 1902-05 was 
1,626,000 piculs. Besides this is the amount retained 
for the maintenance of the provincial forces. An illustration 
of the conservatism which rules Chinese finances is afforded 
by the continued payment by the commuting provinces 
to Chihli for cargo boats to convey from Tientsin to Peking 
the grain which they do not send : "A year or two ago 
(1895) ninety-seven cargo-boats were destroyed by a tidal 
wave, and Chihli has just reconstructed them at a cost of 
Tls.39,800 ; Hunan, Hupeh. and Kiangsi have to repay 

9 6 


this sum between them." * There are, besides, recurring 
payments for " repairs " to imaginary cargo-boats. 

To get at the sum received by the Government from 
tribute is not easy, and it is still more difficult to conjecture 
the amounts paid by the taxpayer. One thing seems 
certain, that the " accretions " to the tribute payable in 
kind must approximate closely to those on the tribute 
commuted ; otherwise, with the weakness of the central 
government fifty years ago, it would have been to the 
advantage of the officials, metropolitan and provincial 
alike, to commute in all the provinces. We may, therefore, 
take Mr. Parker's figures f for the revenue from tribute 
and apply to them the same principle of accretion as for 
the land tax, but with no allowance for remoteness from 
the capital. 



210 per cent. 

10 per cent. 

Total paid by 

Honan J 
Hunan J 
Hupeh % 
Kiangsi % 
Anhwei. . 
Kansu §. . 
Kwangsi § 
Szechwan § 
Yunnan § 













2 50,000 








5,2 50,000 





































In the above table, for the province of Kiangsu, the 

* " The Chinese Revenue," by E. H. Parker. Journal, North 
China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1895-96. 
| " China : Past and Present." 
% Commuted. 
§ Always kept for local administration. 


basic collection of Tls. 2, 500,000 is increased to Tls.8,525,000, 
nearly three-and-a-half times as much. I have been 
able to obtain the tax-notes for two small adjoining lots 
of land near Shanghai, outside the foreign municipal juris- 
diction, and have given them some careful study. The 
amounts and data filled in are written in a sprawling run- 
ning hand, difficult for a scholar, and almost illegible for a 
half-educated farmer ; but from them I have made out the 
following particulars : — 

First lot, area about 10 mow : 

Grain tribute, 6 sheng 9 ho, taken as 7 sheng 
(0*070 shih = 8 ^ catties — n£ lb.), con- 
verted at 6,000 cash . . . . . . 420 

Spring official accretion, Tl.o*095 at 2,500 

cash . . . . . . . . . . 237 

Autumn official accretion, Tl.o-095 at 2,800 

cash . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 

Cash . . 923 
Second lot, area about 25 mow : 
Grain tribute, 1 tow 4 sheng 9 ho (0*149 
shih = 17-^ catties =23^ lb.), converted 
at 7,000 cash . . . . . . . . . . 1043 

Spring official accretion, Tl.o*o87 at 2,500 

cash . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 

Autumn official accretion, Tl. 0*087 at 2,800 

cash . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 

Cash . . 1519 

If fluctuations and the present inflated price of grain be 
disregarded, and the usually accepted rate of 2,000 cash per 
shih for grain tribute be taken as a standard, we have in 
this case a legal tax of 440 cash increased to an actual 
payment of 2,442 cash, five-and-a-half times as much ; and 
if the land had remained in Chinese ownership, we must 
assume that the increase would have been to six times. 
Even with the carefully digested figures given above, there 



are some elements of that variability which is so constant 
a factor in Chinese taxation. The two lots are adjoining, 
and apparently of the same class of land. One is assessed 
at the rate of 0-0069 shih of grain per mow, converted at 
6,000 cash, and the other is assessed at 0-00596 shih per 
mow, converted at 7,000 cash. The official accretions are 
assessed in silver and collected in copper, but the spring 
accretion is converted at 2,500 cash and the autumn ac- 
cretion at 2,800 cash, the actual market-rate being now 
about 1,100 cash ; the accretion for the smaller lot is larger 
in amount than that for the larger lot. 

The copper from Yunnan is sent now in much reduced 
quantity, probably from 5,000 to 10,000 piculs a year ; and 
with so much of guesswork in the calculation, nothing need 
be added for the silks, porcelain, and other articles of tribute, 
though collecting and forwarding them provides honorable, 
but not honorary, employment for many deserving officials. 

3. Customs 

The same veil of mystery which hangs over other 
branches of the revenue service covers the Customs, called 
the " Regular " or native Customs, to distinguish it from 
the newly established " Maritime " or foreign Customs. 
The offices of this establishment may be divided into two 
classes, those controlling shipping and those at land stations. 

The " Regular " Customs offices within fifteen miles of a 
treaty port have, since November 1901, been placed under 
the control of the " Maritime " Customs, with the result 
that most of them are so far regulated that irregular exac- 
tions are suppressed and the full collection reported. The 
collection of the Native Customs under the Commissioners 
of Customs, increased from Tls.2,206,469 in 1902 to 
Tls. 3,699,024 in 1906. Even before 1901 the income of 
the offices had suffered from the inevitable transfer of traffic 
from the junk to the safer, insurable and speedier steamer. 
What can be said of them relates, therefore, more to the 
past than to the present. 

The typical Customs post, and the fattest, was that of 


the " Hoppo " of Canton, abolished in 1904 as being no 
longer profitable. Created as soon as the Manchu supremacy 
had been established over Kwangtung, in order to " milk " 
the trade of the wealthiest trading mart in the Empire, the 
incumbent of the post luxuriated in an abundant supply of 
the richest cream during the time that Canton enjoyed its 
statutory and actual monopoly of foreign trade ; and even 
when the foreign trade had to be shared with many other 
ports, the local traffic of the province itself sufficed to make 
it a lucrative post. If Mr. Parker * is right, the amount 
officially reported within thirty years past cannot have ex- 
ceeded 15 percent, of the sum turned into the Hoppo's trea- 
sury, to which must be added the expense of maintaining 
an army of collectors, supervisors, and accountants. He 
says : " Chief among them is the ' Hoppo ' of Canton, who is 
always a Manchu of the said ' bondsman ' class. The ' regu- 
lation sum/ which this official is bound to collect from the 
native Custom Houses at Canton, Swatow, Hoihow, and 
Pakhoi is about Tls. 157,000, and every year he goes through 
the farce of claiming credit for having ' by unusual zeal and 
industry ' collected as much as Tls. 200,000, or thereabouts. 
But it is well known that he pays at least that sum for his 
appointment, and that his only chance of keeping the post 
for three years — the time usually granted for making his 
1 pile ' — is to vigorously ply the palace with presents. . . . 
From what I could gather from members of the Viceroy's 
staff, at least Tls. 1,000, 000 a year, in fans, silks, pearls, 
and other presents, had to be sent to Peking at intervals 
(according to the nature of the present) of a fortnight, 
a quarter, a half-year, and a year." 

Of the land stations but little is known. One such post 
is that of the " Peking Gate," of which the regulation 
assessment is Tls. 120,000 ; apart from the taxation of 
goods entering Peking, its chief function is to levy a tax 
on every official visiting Peking on affairs of State ; and as 
every high official is ordered up for Audience on appoint- 

* " The Financial Capacity of China." Journal, North China 
Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1895-96. 


ment, or on transfer, or retirement, and as the Wardens of 
the Gates of Peking hold the keys, the tax is usually paid 
without much hesitation, amounting sometimes to Tls. 50,000, 
and on occasion, for the incumbent of an especially lucrative 
post, to as much as Tls. 100,000. Having secured entrance 
to the city, the official will then have to open his way, 
through quite another set of guardians, to the Palace ; and 
then, through the Chamberlains, to the Audience Hall. 
The form to be taken in expressing practical thanks to his 
Sovereign for the honor of an Audience, and for his appoint- 
ment, is a matter of conjecture. The total collection, 
so far as reported, for the frontier and all other inland 
stations, amounts to Tls.460,000. In 1903 the Russian 
statistics showed an export to China exceeding the Chinese 
Customs import by over Tls. 15, 000, 000, and an import 
from China exceeding the Chinese Customs export by over 
Tls.30,000,000 ; it is unlikely that this trade passed entirely 
untaxed, both on the inward and the outward traffic. 

4. Salt 

If the collection of the land tax is veiled by obscurity, 
of the grain tribute by equal obscurity, and of the" Regular " 
Customs by greater obscurity, the greatest obscurity covers 
the revenue from the salt gabelle, owing to the mixture of 
the official and the mercantile element in its collection. Salt 
is everywhere under the strictest Government control, and 
is taxed at every stage — in its manufacture, purchase at the 
vats, transport, sale at the depot, and sale to the people. 
For productive administrative and descriptive purposes 
the Empire is divided into eleven Salt areas : 

1. Shengking : sea salt, supplying Manchuria. 

2. Chang-lu (Long Reed) : sea salt, supplying 
Chihli and the northern part of Honan. 

3. Ho-tung (" East of the Yellow River ") : lake 
salt, supplying Shansi, the western part of Honan, and 
the south-eastern part of Shensi. 

4. Hwa-ma-chih (" Piebald Horse Pool ") : lake 


salt, supplying Mongolia, Kansu, and the greater part 
of Shensi. 

5. Shantung : sea salt, supplying Shantung and 
corners of Honan, Anhwei, and Kiangsu. 

6. Hwai : sea salt ; for administrative and dis- 
tributive purposes divided into : 

6a. Northern Hwai, supplying the northern part 
of Kiangsu north of the Yangtze, the northern part 
of Anhwei, and the southern part of Honan. 

6b. Southern Hwai, supplying the southern part 
of Kiangsu north of the Yangtze, and Nanking 
south of the Yangtze, the southern part of Anhwei, 
the northern part of Kiangsi, the eastern part of 
Hupeh, and the greater part of Hunan. 

7. Szechwan : well salt, supplying Szechwan, the 
north-east corner of Yunnan, nearly all of Kweichow, 
a corner of Hunan, and the western part of Hupeh. 

8. Yunnan : well salt, supplying all Yunnan ex- 
cept the north-east and south-east corners. 

9. Chekiang : sea salt, supplying Chekiang, 
Kiangsu south of the Yangtze (except Nanking), and 
corners of Anhwei and Kiangsi. 

10. Fukien : sea salt, supplying Fukien except the 
south-west corner. 

11. Kwangtung : sea salt, supplying Kwangtung, 
Kwangsi, the southern part of Kiangsi, and small 
corners of Fukien, Hunan, Kweichow, and Yunnan. 
A twelfth, self -supplying and consuming, area of 
small dimensions in central Hupeh need not be con- 

The Hwai Administration, supplying about 100,000,000 
of the population, is the most important, and a description 
of its methods will suffice for all. The Viceroy at Nanking 
is the direct head, and under him is an army of controllers, 
agents, guards, etc., echelonned along and on both sides of 
the Yangtze, charged with control of the traffic, prevention 
of smuggling and levy of taxes. Production, transport, 
and sale are in private , hands, under, licenses issued by 


the Administration. From the vats to the depots (the 
principal one being above and opposite to Chinkiang) 
the salt is practically in bond. At the depot the salt 
is bought, at a price fixed by the Administration, by the 
holders of licenses ; of these a fixed number, usually 
300 to 400 to each province, have been issued against a 
capital payment which, if there were a demand for further 
issue now, would be Tls. 10,000 to Tls. 12,000 each. The 
licensees take their turn, which may be once in two years or 
twice in three years according to circumstances, and in his 
turn each is permitted to buy 3,750 piculs of salt. In order 
to evade the difficulties caused by different regulations and 
customs on every route, different weights at short distances, 
and different taxes in different provinces, it is necessary to 
select one province, and Hupeh will be assumed to be the 
destination. The cost of production is Tls. 1,130 for this 
quantity, in which is included the vat license fee and 
transport to the depot ; and the price paid at the depot is 
Tls.3,725, giving Tls. 2, 595 for government charges for storage 
and taxation to this point. The transport to Hupeh is 
controlled from point to point, and on arrival the salt is 
stored in one of the provincial depots, paying storage, and 
awaiting its turn to be sold to the licensed shops, con- 
veyance to which is also controlled. There are numerous 
changes of scale, changes in the method of accounting, 
delays to be avoided, and difficulties to be smoothed away, 
which add to the cost of the salt and to the emoluments of 
the administration agents, and contribute nothing to the 
revenue, but which must all be paid for by the consumers ; 
and merely to enumerate the different items of taxation, 
and adequately describe the application of an exceedingly 
complicated system, would require a chapter to itself. It 
is sufficient to say that the regular officially recognised 
taxation from the depot near Chinkiang to issue from the 
provincial depot at Hankow is put by good authority at 
Tls. 1 60, and a little more per picul. To get at what 
the people pay we need only take the retail price, which 
is fixed by the Salt Administration. In Hupeh, ten years 


ago, the average retail price so fixed was 50 cash a catty * ; 
as the corresponding price in Hunan was 56 cash, and as 
those were the prices before the increase in taxation to meet 
the Boxer indemnities, this price of 50 cash may be accepted 
as a fair average. Converting at the same rates, the pro- 
ducer's cost of Tls. 1,130 for the quantity, 3,750 piculs, 
under one license, is increased to Tls. 12,545 as the price 
to the consumer, the difference being Tls. n, 415 ; if 
Tls. 1 ,415 be allowed for cost of transport and legitimate 
profit, the remaining Tls. 10,000 (Tls.2.67 a picul) is paid 
by the people as tax, regular or irregular, open or covert. 
The consumption of salt in the Empire can only be 
guessed. A hundred years ago the official " blue-books " of 
China put it at 20,000,000 piculs, and this was stated to 
be less than the amount fifty years previously ; twenty 
years ago a Vice-President of the Board of Revenue put 
it at 28,000,000 piculs. The 300,000,000 of the people 
of India consumed 24,300,000 piculs of salt in 1904, and 
it would seem a fair assumption to put the consumption 
of the 400,000,000 of the people of China at the same 
figure. On this basis, and calculating at the rates for 
eastern Hupeh, the people of China pay Tls.81, 000,000 
for their salt, of which sum Tls.64,000,000 and more is 
taxation in one form or another, and Tls. 39, 000,000 is 
taxation according to regularly published tariffs of charges ; 
the collection reported to the Imperial Government is 
Tls. 13, 050,000.! In India, in 1904, the people paid 88,000,000 
rupees, of which 76,000,000 rupees was taxation actually 
credited to the government. 

5. Miscellaneous 

Some new taxes are included under this heading, but 
the greater part are old ; whether new or old, they are 
covered by much obscurity. Many of them are of local 

* A well-informed writer in the China Mail, Hongkong, 1885, 
gives the retail price of salt at Hankow as 64 cash a catty, 
•f " China : Past and Present." 


incidence, and accordingly their collection and report depend 
upon the industry, the integrity, and the whim of the local 
officials ; others are general, but such that there is no check 
upon the collection such as is afforded by transit from one 
district to another. The principal among them are the 
following : — 

1. The reed tax, a charge upon the marshes along 
the Yangtze and elsewhere, producing reeds for thatch- 
ing and for fuel. 

2. The tea license, now probably incorporated in 
the likin on transit. 

3. Mining royalties, insignificant in the past. 
4 Fees on sales of land and houses. 

5. Pawnbrokers' and other mercantile licenses, 
probably producing the greater part of the reported 

6. Lo-ti-shui, consumption and production tax, now 
insignificant, but capable of development on the 
abolition of likin. 

The total proceeds of miscellaneous taxes * reported 
to the Imperial Government, including cash receipts from 
special tenures, corvees, and purveyances, is Tls.3, 856,000.1 
This includes Tls.55,000 from Honan, for which Mr. Jamie- 
son reports Tls.200,000 collected in 1900, and makes the 
following remark : — 

" By law there is payable on affixing the official 
seal to a sale or mortgage of land a fee nominally of 
3 per cent, but actually of about 8 per cent, ad 
valorem. The fees which the syndicate were asked 
to pay came to over 10 per cent. Assuming there 
are 150,000,000 mow of land in Honan of an average 
value of per mow, which is well below the mark, 
and supposing that land on an average changes hands 
once in 60 years or two generations, one-sixtieth each 
year gives a value transferred of Tls. 25, 000,000 ; 8 

* " China : Past and Present." 

f Includes Tls. 1 ,000,000 collected in Kwangtung from the Weising 


per cent, on that should bring in an annual yield 

of Tls.2,000,000. And yet the returns, as given in the 

above balance sheet, of miscellaneous taxes from all 

sources (of which land transfer fees must be one) are 

put down as only yielding Tls.200,000 altogether." 

There is, in fact, the same, or even greater, degree of 

accretion as in the case of the land tax and the grain tribute, 

and, taking the rates of increase accepted for the latter, we 

have the following figures : — 

Tls. Tls. 

Weising Lottery . . . . 1,000,000 

Other miscellaneous taxes . . 2,856,000 


Accretion, 210 per cent, on latter . . . . 5,997,600 

Collectors' expenses, 10 per cent, on whole 985,360 

Total amount paid by taxpayers . . Tls. 10,838, 960 

Included in this are the proceeds of sale of honors and titles, 
the amount of which cannot be exactly estimated. 

6. Foreign Customs 

We come now to the one branch of the revenue collection 
of China in which the receipt and the report are in accord. 
In 1865 the collection was Tls. 8, 296,275, and in 1905 
Tls. 35, 111,004, made up as follows : — 

Customs duty proper, Import and Export 27,817,190 
Tonnage dues on shipping .. .. 1,105,350 

Transit dues in commutation of provincial 

levy of likin . . . . . . . . 2,034,407 

Convention likin on opium, properly assign- 
able to the provinces . . . . . . 4,154,057 



The sums properly chargeable against this collection 
were as follows : — 

Fixed allowance to cover cost of collection 
and preventive service, but including con- 
siderable expenditure for Post Office, 
Marine Department, Education and other 
minor services . . . . . . . . 3,168,000 

Seven-tenths of tonnage dues assigned to 

Marine Department (Lights, Harbors, etc.) 773,745 


To this must be added small extras which, elsewhere than 
in China, would go to the national exchequer, but which in 
China help to maintain the purely Chinese side of the ad- 
ministration. There is the difference between receiving and 
paying rates in force at the Customs banks as at all other 
banks in China, which may be put at 0*5 per cent., or about 
Tls. 180,000 ; and there is the interest on balances in hand, 
which, on a very safe estimate, may be put at 3 per cent, of 
the total, or Tls. 1,050,000. 

7. Li kin 

Up to quite recent times China, like most countries, was 
content to tax the movement of merchandise at the estab- 
lished Custom Houses only, i.e. practically at the seaports 
only, though the taxation was imposed on all movement 
past those fixed points, and not on the foreign trade alone. 
The only other tax which can be connected with the move- 
ment of goods was the Lo-ti-shui (vide supra) . The exigencies 
of the Government during the Taiping rebellion, however, 
drove the authorities to devise new forms of taxation, and 
likin (" contribution of a thousandth ") was instituted. It 
was first heard of in 1853 ; and about 1861, when the active 
suppression of the rebellion called for largely increased ex- 
penditure, it was applied generally to all the provinces then 
under the control of the Imperial authorities. The original 


theory of the levy, one-tenth of one per cent, on the value, 
imposed no great burden on trade, a tax of the same amount 
levied as wharfage dues for the maintenance of the foreign 
municipalities at Shanghai, Tientsin, Hankow, and else- 
where, being scarcely felt ; but practice soon parted com- 
pany with theory, and the official rates were much increased. 
Nor is the tax uniform in its incidence in all provinces. 
Hunan is proud of its independence and freedom from non- 
customary exactions, and in this province the payment once 
of the full tariff rate of likin exempts goods from further 
payment within the provincial limits, while the accretions 
and irregular exactions are less than elsewhere in China ; 
Hunan is, however, exceptional. Kwangtung is more 
nearly typical of the Empire ; here between Canton and 
Wuchow, a distance of about two hundred miles on the West 
River, there are six likin " barriers," each constituting a 
barrier to the free movement of traffic, and each involving 
delay, vexation, and payment. Along the Grand Canal 
between Hangchow and Chinkiang, likin stations, alter- 
nately collecting and preventive, are established at dis- 
tances averaging ten miles one from the other ; and in that 
part of Kiangsu lying south of the Yangtze there are over 
250 stations, collecting or preventive. The route from 
Shanghai to Soochow presents a curious condition : the 
opening of Soochow as a treaty port enables foreign imports 
to be carried there from Shanghai without further payment 
of any sort, but in 1904, excluding coal and kerosene oil, the 
foreign products declared at the Custom House amounted 
only to Tls. 310,000 ; for the rest of the large traffic between 
the two places the Chinese traders prefer to pay a compo- 
sition in lieu of likin. To get their goods beyond Soochow 
into the " interior," they would still have to come under 
the cognisance of the likin authorities, and by recognising 
that control from Shanghai instead of Soochow, they are 
enabled to commute on the basis of estimated quantities, 
which may be made the subject of manipulation and 
negotiation, and not of actual quantities reported to and 
published by the Customs. 


To get at the amount paid by the people is more difficult 
in the case of likin than of other taxes. The land tax and 
the grain tribute are assessed according to registers very 
strictly kept, and both are under the control of the Hsien, 
the " Father and Mother of the People " ; and yet, as we 
have seen, the regular legal accretion is, at the very lowest 
estimate, from ioo per cent, up to almost anything in reason. 
The Salt Administration is an old-established organisation ; 
and yet the actual receipts are threefold the reported col- 
lection, while the people pay fivefold that amount. Likin 
is a new levy, with its own administration independent of 
all other taxing agencies, and the collection is much more in 
the hands of the officer in charge of each barrier and his sub- 
ordinates than is possible with other taxes. For the regular 
" accretion " a calculation may perhaps be based on the 
following note : — 

" To begin with, these are the official figures 
used in rendering accounts to the Superior Boards 
in Peking. When these same figures come to be 
translated to the rustic, they bear a very different 
meaning. A special case, for the facts of which we 
vouch, will perhaps best illustrate our meaning. The 
fees which a certain junk, chartered by a foreigner, 
was called upon to pay in passing a barrier, amounted 
to 12,000 cash. The charterer was not interested in 
disputing the amount, but he wished to have a receipt 
as a voucher for the disbursement, and for that 
purpose he applied to the native office, where he 
was tendered a receipt for Tls.4. Failing to con- 
vince the officials there that Tls.4 could not by 
any possibility be regarded as the equivalent of 
12,000 cash when the market value of the tael was 
about 1,600 cash, he applied to his Consul, claiming 
either a refund or a receipt for what he had actually 
paid. In the correspondence that ensued the chief 
Chinese authority explicitly declared that though 
Tls.4 was tne proper charge (which, indeed, was 
easily ascertainable from the tariff), yet a tael was 


not a tael in the ordinary sense of the word, but 
was such a sum as would enable the local authorities 
to lay down a tael of the standard weight and purity 
in Peking, and consequently included a melt age fee, 
loss on melting, freight, and costs of transmission, 
and general office expenses, and that all that turned 
into cash meant, according to old established custom, 
12,000 cash for Tls.4. Consequently a receipt for 
Tls.4, the legal sum, was the only receipt they could 
give. In other words, the procedure simply amounted 
to this : that the costs of collection, as far as this 
particular collectorate was concerned, came to nearly 
100 per cent. — that is to say, they practically 
collected Tls.7'5o, of which Tls.3*5o were the costs 
of collecting Tls.4." * 
On this it may be remarked that, if 12,000 cash were 
collected in 1885, it is absolutely certain that, on general 
principles, 12,000 cash are collected to-day ; and further, 
that the likin levy has been substantially increased since 
1895, and again since 1900. But, while this number of cash 
in 1885 was equivalent to Tls.7*5o, at to-day's exchange the 
equivalence is Tls. 10*50 ; and to the legal levy of Tls.4 there 
is added Tls.6*5o, an " accretion " of 162 per cent. The 
collectors of this tax have much more opportunity to annoy 
traders than is possible with other taxes ; the tax is not paid 
at the head office either of the Likin Administration or of the 
traders ; the latter are anxious to get their goods to market, 
and will willingly pay for expedition ; and the opportunity 
of the collectors recurs at each barrier to be passed. More- 
over, barriers on one route compete with those on another, 
and composition and under-declaration are recognised in- 
cidents of trade ; but, while reducing the amount collected 
and reported, it is not for a moment to be supposed that the 
collectors will permit their individual emoluments to be 
affected unless in a sense favorable to themselves. Stu- 
dents of things Chinese would promptly reject the sugges- 
tion that the addition for " collectors' expenses," the 
* China Mail. Hongkong, 1885. 


personal emoluments of the active agents, can be as low as 
10 per cent, of the amount collected ; but as this rate has 
been taken for land tax and other levies, it will be taken for 
this head of revenue as well. Taking Mr. Parker's figures * 
for the reported collection we have, then, the following 
statement : — 

Reported likin on general merchandise . . 11,930,000 
Accretion at 162 per cent. . . . . . . 19,326,600 

Collectors' charges at 10 per cent. . . . . 3,125,660 

Total sum paid by taxpayers . . Tls. 34,382, 260 

In this is not included the collection on native opium. 
This product is bashful and retiring, and prefers the bye- 
ways to the highways, and it is absolutely certain that the 
difference between the sums paid and the amount reported 
is much greater than in the case of general merchandise ; 
calculating it, however, on the same basis we have : — 

Reported collection from native opium f . . 2,830,000 
Accretion at 162 per cent. . . . . . . 4,584,600 

Collectors' charges at 10 per cent. . . . . 741,460 

Total sum paid by taxpayers . . Tls.8, 155,060 

The consumption of native opium in China is certainly 
well over 300,000 piculs, and the total revenue reported as 
collected from it (taking the year 1904), is the above sum of 
Tls. 2,830,000 and a sum of Tls. 920, 598 collected on move- 
ment by steamer through the Foreign Customs, making a 
total of Tls. 3,750,598 ; in the same year there was collected 
by the Foreign Customs from 54,752 piculs of foreign opium 
the sum of Tls.6,025,121. 

* " China : Past and Present." 

t Including Tls.870,000 from opium in Manchuria, which has a 
separate budget. 



When we come to consider the expenditure of the Empire 
we find ourselves in a labyrinth, and the difficulty is well 
illustrated by Mr. Parker * in the following words : — 

" To ascertain what is at the present day the 
expenditure upon each head is no easy matter, for 
all accounts in China seem to be so arranged as 
to present as many anfractuosities, callosities, and 
complications as possible, in clearing which obstruc- 
tions the silver has, of course, all the more chance 
of halting piecemeal on the way to its nominal 
destination. Thus there are allowances on the scale 
for the melting-pot, for sweating, for wear and tear, 
for freight, for escort, for the ' rice ' of the Board 
officials who receive it, for local weights, stationery, 
cartage, haulage, porterage, etc., etc. Wherever 
any question comes in of turning copper cash 
into silver, or taels into dollars, or vice versa, of 
course there is a ' squeeze.' Then there are arrears 
to be dunned for, advances to be made, loans to other 
provinces, divertings to meet sudden or unforeseen 
demands, such as famines, wars, foreign loans, 
Imperial marriages, birthdays, funerals, etc., etc. 
Remissions of taxation are very troublesome, for 
those who have already paid their money never get 
it back, whilst those who receive payment have an 
opportunity of juggling with the date of remission, 
both when it begins and when it ends." 
Nor is this all. As we have seen, especially in the case 
of the land tax, the cost of government is provided for in 
such a way that the greater part of the charge does not, and 
cannot, appear in any official account of expenditure. The 
basic charge on revenue account is increased by legalised 
and regular accretion, and this again by indeterminate 
charges which the collectors collect for themselves, and to a 

* "The Financial Capacity of China." 


great extent at their own sweet will. Both accretion and 
collectors' charges are stigmatised by critics of the Chinese 
Government as " squeeze," or extortion ; but, while the 
method of collection opens the door to personal corruption, 
still this is the Chinese system. In the West, the collector 
is paid a fixed salary, with possibly a commission on his 
takings, but issued from the Treasury ; and the magistrate, 
the official with a fixed office, is paid by a sufficient and 
all-inclusive salary. This is not so in China, where both 
collector and magistrate must fend for themselves. The 
collector takes his charges, but it is a mistake to suppose 
that his takings are all pure profit : to maintain his position 
he must satisfy all in direct authority over him, thereby 
securing to his superiors what is considered the just Chinese 
equivalent of " salary." The Hsien will have received the 
basic tax plus accretion plus what may come to him as his 
share in collectors' charges, and from this must provide for 
the maintenance of all his subordinates, less the proportion 
which they themselves may have received as their share 
out of the collectors' charges ; and he must then provide 
for the maintenance (what we would term salary) of all in 
direct control over him or able to influence his appointment 
or his actions. On his first appointment, and annually or 
at more frequent periods during his tenure of office, he must 
give gratifications, depending in amount upon the more 
or less lucrative character of his post, to his immediate 
superiors, the Fu or Prefect, and the Taotai ; and he is the 
more bound to satisfy the provincial magnates, Judge, 
Treasurer, Governor, and Viceroy, in whose patronage lie 
his appointment, retention in office, and promotion ; and he 
must not neglect these great men's secretaries and account- 
ants, who are in a position to slip a good or evil word into 
their master's ears. So with the Fu and the Taotai. The 
high provincial authorities, too, must fortify their position 
at the capital, and a portion of their emoluments, received 
from their subordinates, must be passed on, regularly and 
almost as assessment, to the higher metropolitan officials 
and Ministers of State, and to the officials of the Palace, any 


one of whom, if neglected, might have influence to reduce 
the perquisites of a self-seeking official or delay his pro- 
motion, and to put a spoke in the wheel of one who proposed 
measures to benefit his province. This is the Chinese 
system, and while a change may be brought about by the 
spirit of reform which is in the air, this book deals with 
the past alone ; but, taken as it is, the system obviously 
prevents any, even approximate, statement of the cost of 
government in China. 

Even when we come to what may be called the official 
budget — the account of collection officially reported and 
transferred to the control of the Imperial Treasury — we are 
bewildered by the confusion resulting from the absence of 
the common purse. This is illustrated by a small item of 
expenditure, one of Tls.600,000 for the Imperial Household, 
which is shown in the following note by Mr. Parker * to be 
drawn from eight different sources : — 

" Let us now descend from generalities to a few 
specific facts. Let us begin with the expenditure 
of the Emperor himself. Beginning with the year 
1866, the annual sum to be sent by the various 
provincial Customs Stations to the Imperial House- 
hold Office was fixed at Tls.300,000 (then about 
£100,000, but now only equal to half that amount in 
gold). Two years later it was found that this 
amount was insufficient, and it was raised to 
Tls.600,000. This sum is annually ' appropriated ' 
by the Board of Revenue before the beginning of 
the year in which it is due. Half has to reach 
Peking before the middle of July, and the balance 
a month before the end of the Chinese year, or, 
say, December. The appropriations ordered by the 
Board for the year 1896 are as follows : — ■ 

Chekiang province, Salt dues fund . . 50,000 

Kwangtung,,, „ „ .. .. 50,000 

Fukien „ Tea „ . . . . 50,000 

* " The Financial Capacity of China." 




Foochow native customs receipts . . 100,000 

Foochow foreign ,, ,, . . . . 50,000 

Shanghai ,, ,, „ . . 50,000 

North Kwangtung native customs . .100,000 

Kiukiang native customs . . . . . . 150,000 

Most of these appropriations are constant year by 

year, but, to take the year 1887 as an instance of 

change, in that year the Hupeh salt likin took the 

place of the Shanghai foreign customs ; and the 

Kiangsu salt-gabelle (Tls. 120,000) and native customs 

at Hwaian (Tls.30,000) took that of the two Foochow 

customs combined. It must also be explained that 

in 1893 the Board of Finance advanced Tls. 212, 390 

to the Buttery Office of the Household, which sum 

has to be deducted and repaid in 1896." 

The sum, Tls.7,000,000, allocated to the maintenance of the 

Manchu Bannermen at Peking, is shown to be drawn from 

fifty-two different sources, in sums ranging from Tls. 24,000 

to Tls.450,000. 

Subject to full consideration of all these omissions and 
of all the obscurity hanging over Chinese accounts, 
below (pp. 116 and 117) is given the official budget of the 
province of Honan for 1900, as given by Mr. Jamieson.* 

A province with a population of 21,000,000 contri- 
butes Tls. 1, 895, 000 (£285,000) for Imperial purposes, and 
maintains its own provincial administration, including the 
expensive and burdensome Yellow River Conservancy, on 
an expenditure of Tls. 1,678,000 (£250,000) ! 

Let us now abstract from Mr. Parker's figures,! the 
result of long and careful inquiry by a most competent 
inquirer, the Imperial " open " budget for the eighteen 
provinces constituting China Proper, with certain cor- 
rections to bring the actual figures up to date. 

* " Land Taxation in the Province of Honan." 
f "China: Past and Present." 





i. Land tax reported paid in money . . 25,887,000 
ii. Tribute, whether commuted or not . . 7,420,000 
iii. Native customs . . . . . . 4,160,000 

iv. Salt Gabelle 12,600,000 

v. Miscellaneous taxes, old and new . . 3,856,000 

vi. Foreign customs, collection 1905 . . 35,111,000 
vii. Likin on general merchandise and 

native opium . . . . . . 13,890,000 




i. Cash remitted to Peking 
ii. Grain or its commutation sent to 

Peking and cost of transport 
iii. Frontier Defence 
iv. Admiralty general fund 
v. Army, Navy, and Fortifications 
vi. Arsenals 
vii. Yellow River and other Conservancies 
viii. Foreign Customs allowance and main- 
tenance of Lights 
ix. Native Customs, allowance to In- 
x. Sundry Peking funds 
xi. Railway development fund 
xii. Imperial grants for provincial ad- 
xiii. * Foreign loans and indemnities taken 
at exchange of 3s. to the tael 









Total . . Tls. 136,496,000 
* See Appendix G, page 441. 



Table showing Revenue and Expenditure of the 
Province of Honan, 26th Year Kwanghsu, 1900 





Kuping Tls. 


Land tax 



,, (supplementary) 



,, grain tax commuted 



Miscellaneous (7 categories of taxes, details not 




Economies on courier service 



,, fixed allowance for Yellow River 




Deduction of 6 per cent, on all payments (ordinary 





[Note. — The likin revenue is said to amount to 
Tls. 100,000, but as Tls.80,000 are remitted 
direct by the Likin Administration for the 
service of foreign loans, the balance only is 
entered as provincial revenue.] 



Deductions from the salaries (Yanglien) of the 
several civil and military officials, 10 to 30 

per cent. 



Rent of public lands and various other items 
Payments by the various district magistrates in 
respect to surplus in the collection of land tax 


arising from difference of scale 




[Note. — Apparently there is a deficit in the 

Provincial Budget of Tls. 38,000 even allow- 

ing for items 13 and 14 of expenditure, 

which are tersely marked " not paid, no 

funds." Moreover, items 5, 6, 7 and 9 on 

the revenue side are not revenue at all, but 

are counted as such, probably on the Skim- 

pole principle that money not spent is money 






Imperial or extra provincial expenditure — 
Peking supply (fixed charge) 
Kansu province, subsidy to 
Service of foreign loans 

[Note. — The fixed charge for this item is 
Tls. 390,000, of which, however, the 
Changlu Salt Department remits 60,000, the 
Grain Tax Department 80,000, and the 
Likin 80,000, leaving, as above, 170,000 as 
the charge on the general revenues of the 
Subsidy to the I-chun army corps 
Remittance to Board of Revenue from grain tax 

Subsidy to Sung-wu army corps in Shungtung . . 
Remittance in aid of the Sungkiang-Shanghai 
Likin Office 
Yunnan Copper Supply Administration 
Remittances to Imperial Household 

„ for upkeep of Yuen-ming-yuen Palace 

Purchase of silks, damask, etc., for Court 
Contribution to Northern Railway construction 
Subsidy for pay of troops in three Manchurian 

provinces (not paid, no funds available) 
Peking supplementary subsidy, termed Ku-pen 
(not paid, no funds available) 
Provincial expenditure — 

Yellow River repairs, fixed allowance 

Pay of provincial troops : " Banner," " Green," 

and " River " camps 
Provincial " drilled " force 
River embankments in the two hsien " Ho " 

and " Wu " 
Salaries (Yanglien) to civil and military officials 

of the province 
Pensions, officials of hereditary rank on provin- 
cial list 
Pay of police in eleven hsien 
River gunboats, dockyard expenses 
Workshops, etc., under the " Shan-hou " office 


Total, Imperial and extra provincial 
,, provincial 



Kuping Tls. 











1 1 ,000 






The Imperial expenditure, so far as known or reported, 
exceeds the Imperial revenue, as reported, by Tls. 33, 572,000, 
indicating, as the Government is far from being bankrupt, 
a considerable degree of elasticity in the revenue. 

The next step will be to draw up an imaginary state- 
ment of revenue according to the amounts presumed to 
be paid by the taxpayer ; and if, in preparing this, we 
accept the sums recorded above for " accretion " as 
representing the general expenses of provincial administra- 
tion, and those for " collectors' charges " as representing 
the local or municipal administration, the resultant figures 
will be readily accepted by all competent investigators as 
being in all cases well under the fact. 










i. Land Tax 




ii. Tribute 




iii. Native Customs . . 




iv. Salt Gabelle 




v. Miscellaneous 




vi. Foreign Customs . . 




vii. Likin 




Total . . 




The grand total here shown, Tls.284, 154,000, is an 
obviously insufficient sum on which to maintain the fabric 
of government of an empire like China, but it has been 
reached by calculations based on a few known facts, and 
does not include any of those delightful exchange operations 
which alleviate the burden of officials charged with receiving 
and disbursing official funds. Such as it is, the statement 
is offered as throwing some light on a subject veiled in 


the currency 


Of the prehistoric systems of currency in China, the inscribed 
skins, the tortoiseshell and cowries, the axes and spades, 
the armlets and rings, it is not my purpose to treat, but 
only of those systems which lead directly to the modern 
currency practice of the Empire. Nearly every possible 
material is recorded as having served this purpose at one 
time or another ; but, outside the metals and paper money, 
we hear in historic times only of silk rolls and cowries. 
Silk rolls, though received for tribute at a fixed rate of con- 
version as late as the thirteenth century, might perhaps be 
considered as much a tribute in kind as currency, though it is 
recorded, ad a.d. 1206, that silver or silk could be used in pay- 
ment of the salt tax. Cowries were received for taxes as late 
as the fourteenth century ; the records show that 1,133,119 
strings of cowries were received by the Treasury in a.d. 1329. 
Of metals, gold seems to have been considered as currency 
only from the eleventh to the third century B.C., the law pro- 
viding that the unit of gold in commercial transactions should 
be a cube of one tsun weighing one kin. In modern times gold 
has been a commodity pure and simple, and in the shape 
of jewelry or ingots or gold-leaf has been used chiefly for 
hoarding — for the Asiatic family reserve against times of 
want or of oppression. Iron has been used for coinage 
during the Han Dynasty (b.c. 206) and by various kingdoms 
in West China, and in the tenth century iron coins were 
the ordinary currency in what is now Szechwan. In modern 
times iron was used to further depreciate the coinage of 



Hienfeng (a.d. 1851-1861), pieces of iron having then been 
issued during the time when the mints were cut off from 
their supplies of copper from Yunnan. These, however, 
are all intermittent and eccentric currencies which have 
not endured ; and for present-day discussion we need only 
consider three kinds — copper, paper and silver. 


Early Coins 

It is only in copper (or bronze) that currency and coinage 
are synonymous terms in China. Disregarding the archaic 
uninscribed tokens of rulers before the true historic period, 
we find the earliest recorded legislation on coinage about a 
century after the beginning of the Chow Dynasty (circa 
B.C. 1122), the sovereign having established in B.C. 1032 
certain rules for currency, and enacted that metallic pieces 
should henceforth be exchangeable according to their weight. 
Inscribed coins then came in, but for over three centuries 
the inscriptions contained no reference to weight or value. 
Then, in the first half of the seventh century B.C., the enact- 
ment of certain rules led gradually to the habit (coinage not 
being yet, not until B.C. 135, a government prerogative) of 
casting coins of regular shapes and sizes and of constant 
weights ; but even then the earliest known specimen in- 
scribed with weight or value is assigned doubtfully to circa 
B - c - 375- The coins circulating from this time were of the 
shapes called knife and spade or ftu, both being tokens 
representing for purposes of barter the implements which 
constituted the wealth of the people. Of these the knife 
coins represent a more highly developed civilisation, in that 
the inscriptions are more precise in giving the place of issue 
and in indicating that they are token currency ; the issues 
of the latest type, ascribed to the beginning of the first 
century of our era, are highly conventionalised, the blade 
being shortened and the ring having become a thickened 
copy of the round coin with square hole which had by that 
time become the common coinage. 


Specimen of Pu cash. 

Half-tael cash. 

5-chu cash. 


Inscribed Round Coins 

Inscribed round coins came in about the seventh century 
B.C., the earliest known specimens being inscribed as weigh- 
ing 1 liang 14 chu or i^f tael, having a present-day weight 
of 171 grains ; while others are inscribed with other weights, 
such as i^f liang, or with the place of issue and the number 
of kin or hoes they stood token for. The earlier round 
hole in the middle (probably a reminiscence of the armlets 
and rings) soon gave place to the square hole which we 
know to-day, and from the end of the Chow Dynasty (circa 
B.C. 255) the coins are inscribed " Half a tael." The follow- 
ing are the approximate dates for each of the regular 
shapes of coins : — 

Knife money . . . . . . B.C. 670-221 

,, ,, thick and short .. a.d. 7-10 
Spade money (consisting of little 

hoes with hollow handles) . . B.C. 600-350 

Pu money (variant of Spade) . . B.C. 475-221 

small and thick .. a.d. 10-14 

Round coins, with round holes . . B.C. 660-336 

,, ,, ,, square holes from B.C. 221. 

China has had a copper coinage for twenty-five centuries, 
and a coinage of the shape we know to-day uninterruptedly 
for twenty-one centuries. 

The issues of half -tael coins must have been very large, 
since they are in our time by no means uncommon in the 
trays of the petty hucksters who are found on every street 
of every city of the Empire. In course of time they degene- 
rated in size and weight, and (b.c. 118) were replaced by the 
coins inscribed in seal character " Five chu " (^ tael), which 
remained in circulation, side by side with all other issues, 
for upwards of 700 years. This coin, also easily obtainable 
to-day, is beautifully cast, 0-95 inch * in diameter, weighing 
to-day from 46 to 51 grains. Coins with other inscriptions, 
all in seal character and none of them dynastic, were issued 

* Here and later the English inch. 


from time to time, until we come to the Golden Age of 
China — the Tang Dynasty, a.d. 618. Then began the issue 
of the coins inscribed in square modern character Kai-yuan. 
Coins with this inscription are recorded as having been 
issued by the first Tang Emperor (a.d. 618-627), Dv the 
Emperor who took those characters (Kai-yuan) for his reign 
title (a.d. 713-742), by the Emperor TehTsung (a.d. 780-785), 
and by the Emperor Wu Tsung (a.d. 841-847), a total of 
fifty-three years. The first coins to be inscribed with the 
title of the reigning Emperor, thus giving an exact date, 
were issued in the reign of Kienfeng (a.d. 666-668). This 
new currency, introduced by a strong and wise government 
in sufficient quantities for the needs of the people, supplied 
a type which has endured to this day. With a diameter 
of 0*95 inch, they were of the same dimensions and weight 
as the coins which, until the great melting down of the past 
twenty years, constituted the chih-tsien or standard coinage 
of the Empire ; and thirty years ago, searching critically 
through hundreds of strings of cash in everyday circulation, 
I found among them not a few of these coins which had 
formed part of the ordinary currency of the people for 
eleven to thirteen centuries, minted before the time of 
Alfred of England, before Charlemagne was crowned at Rome, 
and long before a King of France reigned in Paris. The 
type persisted through the Sung Dynasty (a.d. 960-1126), 
varied by occasional issues of coins of larger size, but gene- 
rally were of standard size. These issues also were made in 
sufficient quantities for the needs of the people, and these, 
too, I have found among coins in present circulation. 
Speaking of thirty years ago, in every thousand coins there 
would be two or three of the Tang and ten or twelve of 
the Sung mintage. The Golden Dynasty of Niichen Tartars 
(a.d. 1 1 15-1234) and their contemporaries the Southern 
Sung (a.d. 1 127-1280) issued few coins ; and the Mongols, 
the Yuan Dynasty (a.d. 1260-1368), ruling the China that 
Marco Polo knew, issued still smaller quantities, subsisting 
as it did mainly on fiduciary issues of paper money. The 
Ming Dynasty then came in (a.d. i368-i642),and found itself 

Tang, a.d. 618-906. 

Sung, a.d. 960-1126. 

Ming, a.d. 1368-1643. 

Shun-chih, a.d. 1644-1661 

Kang-hi, a.d. 1662-1722. 

Yung-cheng, a.d, 1 723-1735. 

Tao-kvvang, ad. 182 1 -1850. 

Tung-chih, a.d. 1862-1874. 


confronted by this financial difficulty. The early rulers 
were compelled for a time to continue the paper issues of 
their predecessors, and in addition there was during the first 
reign, that of Hungwu (a.d. 1368-1399), some issue of copper 
token coinage ; but by the time of Yunglo (a.d. 1403-1425), 
the reign during which the capital was moved to Peking, the 
finances had been restored from the condition to which they 
had been reduced by the unlettered and warlike Mongols, 
and the currency established on a sound basis. For two 
and a half centuries the Ming Government kept the people 
fully supplied with circulating media of standard size and 
weight, the general average of the diameter of the coins 
ranging from 0*90 to 1/05 inch, and the standard weight 
from 46 to 57 grains ; making ample allowance for the 
longer time that the surviving specimens of Tang and Sung 
coinage have been in circulation, the Ming coins must be 
adjudged to be superior to them, and fully equal in appear- 
ance to the coinage of the first century of the present Tsing 
Dynasty, though less in weight. When the Manchus came 
to the throne, they continued the civil government of their 
predecessors, merely superadding the military control 
represented by the now innocuous Tsiang-kun (Tartar 
Generals) stationed at certain strategic points throughout 
the Empire, and creating a few milking posts, such as the 
Hoppo at Canton, a post abolished only in 1904 ; their 
rule has been in the main a government of the Chinese, by 
the Chinese, for the Chinese, and in nothing has this been 
shown more than in their continuance for nearly two 
centuries of the financial and monetary systems of the Mings. 
The earliest issues of coinage by the first Emperor to establish 
himself at Peking, Shunchih (a.d. 1644-1661), bore inscrip- 
tions only in Chinese, the first issues having on the reverse 
only the mint name, the second having in addition the value, 
one-thousandth of a tael (of silver) ; then, toward the end 
of his reign, the coins bore the mint name in Chinese and 
Manchu. His successor, Kanghi (a.d. 1662-1722), continued 
the bilingual inscriptions through the whole of his reign, 
but toward the end of the reign, the two mints at Peking, 


those of the Board of Revenue (Hu-pu) and the Board of 
Works (Kung-pu, issued coins bearing on the reverse the 
mint name and the word " currency " in Manchu only. 
The coins of Yungcheng (a.d. 1723-1735) are inscribed on 
the obverse in Chinese and on the reverse in Manchu only, 
and this practice has continued to this day. It is in this 
reign that the coinage of China may be considered to have 
reached its highest point, in size and weight, in quality of 
metal, and in elegance of inscription ; previous dynasties 
and previous reigns had equalled it in some one or more of 
these qualities, but not in the combination of all. The 
Shunchih coins were generally 095 to 1*05 inch and those 
of Kanghi roo to no inch in diameter, and both were made 
of a bright yellow brass ; the Yungcheng coins were 
generally roo to no inch in diameter, made of a rich 
light-brown bronze. It was from this time that the de- 
generation of the coinage began, and it will be well here to 
interpolate a note on the standard of weight and value. 

Standard of Weight and Value 

Leaving to one side the Half-tael and Five-chu ( a ^ tael) 
coins, the standard introduced by the Tang Dynasty and 
continuing in theory until to-day was a part of a bimetallic 
system, or even (although gold formed no part of the cur- 
rency) of a trimetallic system, by which, in weight, 1 gold = 
10 silver = 1,000 copper, these being the metallic exchange 
equivalents in China thirteen centuries ago. The copper 
coin of this system was made to weigh one-tenth of a tael, 
making it in value one-thousandth of a tael of silver. This 
theory has continued to the present time, and was definitely 
asserted by the inscription, ten centuries later, on the coins 
of the first Manchu Emperor. The copper coinage being a 
government concern, while silver was left to the tender 
mercies of the bankers, the fixed exchange equivalence, or 
value, of the coins was treated with relative disregard, while 
the weight was more or less adhered to. We get into quite 
another question when we go into the weight of the tael ; 
the Five-chu coins may be assumed to have weighed 5 chu 


or - 2 \ tael when first introduced * (though this may be an 
erroneous assumption), and, as far as numismatics can tell 
us, they continued to be of the same weight down to the 
time when they were displaced by the Tang coins, of about 
the same size, and of a statutory weight of -^ tael. Dis- 
regarding any difference of tael, this continued to be the 
desideratum of the mints, the actual weight of the issues 
varying, however, according to the laws of supply and 
demand, to the varying ratio between silver and copper, 
and to the ostensible necessity of maintaining a bimetallic 
proportion in the currency, but seldom falling below yo 
tael. During the first reign of the Tsing Dynasty the 
weight was -^ tael, afterwards raised to y^^ tael, and under 
Kanghi, a.d. 1684, the weight was again reduced to ^ tael, 
to be again raised, a.d. 1702, to -^-^ tael, and again reduced 
to y^q tael. This continued to be the statutory weight 
through the reign of Yungcheng and into the beginning of 
that of Kienlung (a.d. 1736), when it was again made y^ tael. 
During this long reign of sixty years degeneration made 
progress, in appearance and in quality, and in the size 
and weight of the coins ; the government was still vigorous, 
with no sign of dry rot, and we may assume that it was the 

* Under the Chow Dynasty, on the evidence of the coins, the 
liang of 24 chu was probably 97-5 grains, giving 4*06 grains as the 
weight of the chu. The " First Emperor," Shih Hwangti, in the 
twenty-sixth year of his reign as Prince and the first year of his 
assumption of the Imperial dignity (b.c. 221), issued an edict in- 
creasing the weight and fixing the standard. On the authority of 
Mr. F. H. Chalfant (Journal N.C.B.R.A.S. 1903-4) the standard 
was as follows : — 

1 chu . . . . . . . . o*68 gramme = 10*5 grains 

24 chu = 1 liang . . . . 16-35 grammes = 252*5 grains 

This standard was probably continued into the Han Dynasty, which 
soon (b.c. 206) followed the Tsin ; and the first ruler of the Northern 
Tsi (a.d. 550) enacted that a hundred 5-chu coins should actually 
weigh 500 chu, " otherwise 1 kin 4 liang 20 chu." The actual 
weight (46 to 51 grains) of surviving specimens of 5-chu coins corre- 
sponds closely with the theoretic weight (52*5 grains) of this standard. 
When the standard was again raised is not on record ; but the first 
Tang coins issued seventy years later (a.d. 618) were presumably 
one-tenth of the modern liang of 570 to 580 grains. 


struggle between the mints and the illegal melter down 
of too-full-weight coins, and that, to keep the currency 
from the melting crucible, the mints were driven to reduce 
the intrinsic value more and more. Whatever the cause, the 
coinage became by degrees smaller and lighter, issues at the 
beginning of the reign having a diameter of no inch and 
weighing y~q tael, while at the end of the eighteenth century 
official issues (no account being taken of illicit coining, so 
common in China) were so small as 0*85 or even o*8o inch, 
and weighed no more than y^)o" ^ ae ^- ^ memorialist just 
a century ago reported to the Throne that, of the coins in 
common circulation, from 1 to 2 per cent, weighed ■££§ tael 
and over, while 30 to 40 per cent, weighed the full legal ■£$ tael. 
The coins of the period Kiaking (a.d. 1796-1820) were of 
light weight, but ordinarily were still well minted ; it is in 
the following reign, Taokwang (a.d. 1 821-1850), that the 
rough crude issues of the mints, which we see to-day, made 
their first appearance ; and the present tendency we see in a 
memorial from the Governor-General of Shengking, dated 
November 1899, in which he reports to the Throne that 
coins weighing y^ tael, such as were issued in other provinces, 
involve a loss, and that he is therefore minting them at 
Y^o tael weight. It is safe to say that there will be no profit 
from melting down such coins, and that the illicit issues of 
counterfeiters will not be much less attractive in appearance 
or appreciably less in value. 

Token Coinage 

In the reign of Hienfeng (a.d. 1851-1861) the govern- 
ment fell on troubled times, with revenues reduced by 
wide-spread rebellion ; and, partly from this cause, partly 
because it was unable to get supplies of copper, recourse 
was had to issues of token coins. This depreciated money 
was issued in two forms — iron coins having the same 
dimensions and face value as the ordinary copper currency, 
and copper token coins in multiples of the ordinary cash. 
The iron coins had a temporary success, but within four 
years, in February 1857, there was a popular rising against 
them, and in a day they lost their currency. 

io cash, A.D. 1853-186] 

10 cash, A.D. 1853-1861 

o cash, A.D. 1905, 


The first tokens issued (in 1853) were 10-cash pieces 
with a diameter of 1*50 inch, but these were soon reduced 
to a maximum diameter of 1*20 inch and a minimum for 
official issues during the present reign of Kwanghsu which 
may be put at roo inch. The provinces soon followed 
suit and 10-cash pieces were issued by all the provincial 
mints except those of Hunan and Kwangtung. Other 
values also followed, including coins of a face value of 5, 
8, 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 cash. The issues 
of the Fukien mint (bearing in mind that they were cast, 
and not rolled or stamped) are beautiful specimens of 
numismatology, and heavier than the contemporary coins 
of other mints ; and I give here the particulars of a series 
which lies before me. 






1*45 inch 

o*i i inch 

321 grains * 


i-8o „ 

0-12 ,, 

59i » 


2*22 ,, 

0-20 ,, 

1,410 „ 


2'63 „ 

0-25 „ 


These token coins took no hold in the provinces and may 
be said not to have entered into the currency system of 
the Empire, except that, curiously enough, in Peking itself, 
though not in the province of Chihli, immediately around 
it, the patriotism, or the self-interest, or the timidity of the 
people led to their immediate adoption, and the 10-cash 
pieces (but none of the others) have continuously for fifty 
years past constituted the sole circulating medium of the 
capital. It must not be supposed however that, even at 
Peking, the 10-cash piece is considered to be worth, or is 
accepted for, ten cash.f The Chinese never have treated 
their coinage as coins, passing on their face value irre- 
spective of their intrinsic worth, but have always looked 
beneath Caesar's superscription ; and the token currency 
of the capital is rated closely to the value of the metal 
contained in it. An estimate of the true intrinsic value of 

* Weight inscribed on rim 0*50 tael. 

t Cash, from the Sanskrit Karsha, Karshapana, the translation 
in English of the Chinese " Copper coin." 


a copper coinage in China must depend upon the gold ex- 
change with silver, the gold price of copper and spelter, 
and the exchange between silver and the copper coinage, 
and the resultant of this triangular calculation will never 
be the same from day to day ; but taking all the conditions 
as they were at a certain time in 1905, I found that for one 
Mexican dollar I received at Shanghai 880 ordinary cash 
in common circulation, containing an ordinary proportion 
of illicit coins, of an intrinsic value of 26*4 pence ; and 
that for one Mexican dollar at Peking I received actually 
405, being nominally * 413 pieces of 10-cash, with an actual 
face value of 4,130 and a nominal f face value of 8,260 
cash, having an intrinsic value of 29-45 pence. The actual 
value in each case is somewhat, but proportionately, smaller, 
since I took as the basis of the fourth element in the 
estimate — the alloy of metal in the coins — the standard 
proportion of 60 parts of copper to 40 of spelter, while 
the proportion of copper is sometimes as low as 55. 

We come now to the latest issue of token coinage, the 
cent. This was issued to supply a real deficiency in the 
circulating medium, due to extensive melting down of 
the regular coinage and the impossibility of the government 
supplying the wastage, both occasioned by the increasing 
intrinsic value of the copper contents. This coin was a 
close imitation of the Hongkong cent (y^o of a silver dollar) 
and the issues from the Kwangtung mint are inscribed 
" 100 to a dollar," but those from all other mints are in- 
scribed " represents 10 cash." While their workmanship 
differs, their intrinsic value is fairly uniform ; with a 
diameter of no inch, some are of pure copper and weigh 
112 grains, others contain 95 percent, of copper and weigh 
115 grains, having an intrinsic value (on the date in 1905 
referred to above) of 12 pence for 100 coins or 105 pence 
for the then exchange equivalent of one dollar. There 
were also some limited issues of brass " cents " containing 
80 per cent, of copper and 20 per cent, of spelter. At first 
the cents passed for their full face value of 10 cash or 88 

* v. infra, page 130. f v. infra, page 132. 



to the silver dollar, but by July 1906 they had depreciated 
to a value of 7 cash, or 112 to the dollar, recovering at the 
end of 1906 to 107 to the dollar. 

Mint Statistics 

The people of China are voracious in their consumption 
of cash, but it is not easy to get statistics, the only fact 
I can note of earlier periods being that at the beginning of 
the ninth century a.d. the quantity issued annually was 
135,000,000. From Edkins * I give figures of the quan- 
tities issued by the mints for certain years of the first 
century of the present dynasty. 



D. 1644 
, 1645 
, 1646 
, 1647 
, 1648 
, 1650 
, 1652 
, 1653 
, 1654 
, 1655 
, 1660 
, l66l 
, 1666 
, 1671 
, 1676 


















Kanghi 20 a. 

D. 1681 


, 1686 


, 1691 


, 1696 


, 1701 


, 1706 


, 1711 


, 1717 


, 1721 

Yungcheng 1 

, 1723 


, 1726 


, 1727 


, 1728 


, I730 


, 1731 










At three periods of the nineteenth century we have 
figures giving the issues of each mint. 

1 800- 1 8 30 
Fixed quota. 





- t 


Chihli .. 




Shansi . . 




Shensi . . 












Hupeh . . 








































* "Chinese Currency," by J. Edkins, Shanghai, 1901. 
t Probably the same as in the period 1 800-1 830. 



A close correspondence in the issues of certain mints 
in the three columns will suggest the danger which always 
confronts the investigator in China, from the common habit 
of reporting that which should be as being that which is. 
Of the " cents " it is estimated that 12,500,000,000 were 
issued up to the end of 1906, and it appears probable that 
over a third of these came from the Hupeh mint. 

Variability of Tiao 

Cash are strung on strings, in rolls of 100, of which 
10 go to the string or tiao, or ch'uan, formerly called kuan. 
Nothing is ever done in China for nothing, and no oppor- 
tunity is ever lost of making a little extra profit or lag- 
niappe ; and the money-changers have always charged 
for their trouble in stringing, and for the cost of the string. 
This charge is made by deducting one, or two, or three, or 
four cash from each hundred ; the deduction is more or 
less (as everything in China is " more or less ") recognised 
and fixed for each place, with the result that the tiao of 
1,000 cash contains in one place 970 and in another place 
980 actual coins, the full tiao passing however for 1,000 
cash. The local quota is fixed, and the peasant who should 
receive 980 but actually gets only 975, will feel that he 
is not receiving his due and will enter at once upon that 
war of wits which delights the heart of every Chinaman. 
The following newspaper cutting * will give a clearer 
picture of the situation than anything I can write, what 
is said of the cent being true also of the cash. 

" Wusueh, Hupeh, May 1, 1906. 
" This particular part of the Hupeh province has 
long been distinguished for its variety of rates of 
exchange. A nominal 100 cash has for a long time 
been worth 97 in actual cash at Wusueh, 98 at Lung- 
ping ten miles away, 97 or 98 in different classes of 
transactions at Hsingkuo ninety miles away, and 
99 at Chichou the same distance away in another 

* North-China Daily News, May nth, 1906. 


direction. To complicate matters, the only cash 
bills which are popular are issued by a Wusueh bank 
and are current in all these towns, but not at face 
value. At Wusueh a bill equals 1,000 cash, at Lung- 
ping one has to give ten cash and a bill for a thousand, 
at Chichou one must add twenty cash to the bill. 
When the copper 10-cash pieces became current (and 
the only currency, for cash is not now to be had at 
the banks) the banks had to settle all these monetary 
problems afresh. At the mint the copper pieces are 
sold at 98, i.e. 100 copper pieces equal 1,000 cash, 
reckoned at 98 to the hundred, so that when paying 
100 cash one pays ten pieces, but when paying 99 
or 98 cash one also pays ten pieces. At Chichou the 
banks decided to issue 100 copper pieces for a cash bill, 
thus saving money on the transaction, as they bought 
the pieces at Wuchang at 98 and paid them out 
instead of 1,000 copper cash at 99. At Lungping 
they had to be content without gains. At Wusueh 
the banks pondered, for if they bought the copper 
pieces at 98 and then gave 100 for a bill in a place where 
the rate was 97 they would lose ten cash on each hun- 
dred. They therefore decided to take one coin out of 
each packet they got from the mint. Had they stopped 
here all would have gone smoothly, for the shop- 
keepers would have deducted one cash from each ten 
copper pieces which they paid out, and no one would 
have lost anything. But old-time custom has al- 
lowed the banks to charge two cash for the piece of 
string on which the cash were threaded, and the 
banks did not like to yield this squeeze, so they 
proceeded to take a second copper piece out of each 
packet from the mint and put eight cash back, thus 
getting the two cash for the string which they no 
longer provided. Of course the shopkeepers objected, 
for they could not divide up two cash among a hun- 
dred coins. If they allowed this deduction, the loss 
of the two cash must inevitably fall on the man who 


broke the parcel of copper pieces. The result was 
that the matter was referred to the officials, and after 
plea and counter-plea, the shopkeepers have won, 
and by proclamation the rate in Wusueh from to- 
morrow will be 98 to the 100, so that the banks will 
hand over unbroken packets of copper coins. Does not 
the commercial strength of the Chinese lie just in this 
pertinacious struggling against the smallest losses ? " 

Double Value of Cash in North China 

In the north (Chihli, Shantung) one cash counts for 
two. The price of an article being there quoted at 100 
cash, you hand over 50 coins, at 2 tiao you give what in the 
south constitutes 1 tiao. The same rule of deduction holds 
here too, and the tiao nominally of 1,000 and nominally - 
actually of 980 cash contains actually 490 coins. At 
Peking, too, the rule holds good, and the tiao nominally 
of 1,000 cash, i.e. nominally of 100 and nominally-actually 
of 98 pieces of 10-cash actually contains 49 pieces of 10-cash 
= 20-cash. In Manchuria the tiao consists of 160 ordinary 
(small) cash. 

I make no excuse for devoting so much of my space to 
this part of my subject. The copper coinage is the currency 
of the people, in which the daily transactions of four hundred 
millions are carried on. The importer and the exporter 
have an exchange question ever present ; the wholesale 
dealer buys and sells with taels of silver bullion ; but the 
shopkeeper sells his commodities, and the artisan and the 
farmer sell the produce of their labour, for copper coins, 
and with these copper coins buy what will suffice for their 
daily needs. The basis of the currency system of the 
Empire is the copper cash which was originally tThTo of 
a tael of silver, worth only a generation ago the third of a 
pound sterling ; and of this copper cash, at the exchange 
ruling a couple of years ago, it took approximately 10,000 
to equal a pound sterling, 2,000 an American dollar, 500 
a mark, and 400 a franc. 



Paper money comes to be considered next, since, speaking 
generally and exceptis excipiendis, it is in China based on 
copper and not on silver. There is no record to show 
when bank issues first began, and to-day the notes of 
money-changers circulate readily within a radius limited 
only by the credit and reputation of the issuing firm. It is 
not my purpose, however, to consider private issues, but 
only the fiduciary issues of fiat money made by the govern- 

Tang and Sung Notes 

The first government notes of which the issue is re- 
corded were of the Tang Dynasty. The Emperor Hien- 
tsung (a.d. 806-821) on account of the scarcity of cash, 
issued an edict prohibiting the manufacture of copper 
utensils, such as basins and kettles ; and, to provide for 
the monetary stringency, opened offices at the capital 
at which merchants could deposit their coin, receiving in 
exchange government notes, called " bonds " or " flying 
money " ; the offices represented the different provinces, 
and the notes were redeemable at the proper provincial 
capital. Translated into modern terms, this means that 
the government began to issue paper money. These issues 
continued to the end of the Tang period. The first Emperor 
of the Sung period (a.d. 960) followed the custom of the 
Tang Dynasty and issued government notes at large com- 
mercial centres, redeemable at other large centres. As 
described, these notes served rather the purpose of bills of 
exchange, but it is hard to believe that the government did 
not avail itself of the opportunity to get something for 
nothing, and to pay some portion of its obligations in this 
form. In a.d. 997 the amount of these notes outstanding 
was 1,700,000 strings (tiao) of cash, and in a.d. 1017 was 
2,930,000 strings. 

It was in the state of Shuh, the present province of 
Szechwan, that the true paper money was first introduced ; 
these were notes issued without being guaranteed by some 


hypothecated value. A certain Chang Yung introduced 
them to take the place of the iron money, which was in- 
conveniently heavy and troublesome. These bills were 
called chih-tsi or evidences. During the reign of Chengtsung 
of the Sung Dynasty (a.d. 997-1022), this practice was 
followed, and the notes were called kiao-tze or changelings. 
They were made payable every three years ; thus, in sixty- 
five years they were redeemable twenty-two times ; each note 
was worth a thousand cash, or a tael of pure silver. Fifteen of 
the richest houses managed this financial operation ; but 
in course of time they were unable to fulfil their engage- 
ments, and all became bankrupt, which gave rise to many 
lawsuits. The Emperor annulled the notes of this company, 
and deprived his subjects of the power to issue bank-bills, 
reserving it to himself to establish a bank of issue at Yihchao. 
By the year 1032 there were more than 1,256,340 taels' 
worth of " changelings " in circulation in China. In 1068, 
having ascertained that counterfeits were issued, the 
government made a law that persons making false bills 
should be punished the same as those who falsified govern- 
ment orders. Later than this, and at different applications, 
banks for the issue of the kiao-tze were established in many 
provinces, and the notes of one province were not circulated 
in another. Their terms of payment and modes of cir- 
culation, too, varied at different times.* 

Southern Sung Notes 

For the twelfth and the first half of the thirteenth centuries 
the country was divided between the Southern Sung and the 
Golden Dynasty of Niichen Tartars, and both ran a mad 
race in the issue of assignats. Of the latter government we 
have few records, but of the doings of the southern kingdom 
Klaproth gives us the following note : — 

" Under the Emperor Kiotsung, in a.d. 1131, it 
was attempted to make a military establishment at 
Wuchow, but as the requisite funds did not come in 
* Klaproth, " Memoires relatifs a l'Asie." 


without great difficulty, the officers charged with the 
matter proposed to the Board of Revenue to issue 
Kwan-tze or due bills, with which they could pay the 
sutlers of the troops ; and which should be redeemable 
at a special office. Abuses soon crept into the details 
of this plan, and the people began to murmur. Later, 
and under the same reign, similar due bills to these 
were put into circulation in other provinces. During 
the reign of this same monarch, the Board of Revenue 
issued a new sort of paper money called hwei-tze or 
exchanges ; these were, at first, payable only in 
the province of Chekiang and thereabouts, but they 
soon extended to all parts of the Empire. The papei 
of which they were made was originally fabricated 
only in the cities of Hweichow and Kichow in Kiang- 
nan ; subsequently, it was also manufactured in 
Chengtu-fu in Szechwan, and Linan-fu in Chekiang. 
The hwei-tze first issued were worth a string of a 
thousand cash, but under the reign of Hiao-tsung, in 
1 163, they were issued of the value of 500, 300, and 
200cash each. In five years, i.e. up to the seventh month 
of the year 1166, there had already been sent out 
more than 28,000,000 taels ' worth of these notes ; and 
by the eleventh month of this year, this sum had been 
increased 15,600,000 taels. During the further sway 
of the Sung Dynasty, the number of the hwei-tze was 
constantly on the increase ; and besides this descrip- 
tion of note, there were some of the Kiao-tze still 
extant, and notes of private individuals current in the 
provinces ; so that the country was inundated with 
paper notes, which were daily depreciated in value in 
spite of all the modifications and changes the govern- 
ment adopted to augment their circulation. 

" At last, under the reign of Li-tsung of the same 
dynasty, in 1264, the minister Kia Sze-tau, seeing 
their value so small, endeavored to substitute for a 
part of hwei-tze some new assignats which he called 
yin-kwan or silver obligations. Those hwei-tze which 


were technically named ' seventeen terms ' were 
withdrawn entirely ; and three of those called 
' eighteen terms ' were exchanged for one note of 
the new currency which bore the character kia. But 
although even those bills which were torn were received 
in pay for taxes, the minister was not able to get the 
Treasury paper into circulation, nor to lessen the price 
of commodities." 

Mongol Notes 

The Mongols then came in (a.d. 1260) and founded the 
Yuan Dynasty. An unlettered race of warriors, they could 
devise no better means of providing for the needs of their 
government than to continue the practice which they found 
in vogue and issue paper money. Copper cash and silver 
had been driven from their dominions ; and with the chief 
sources of supply of both metals in the southern provinces, 
it would require a longer period of peace and a higher 
development of commerce than was possible under Mongol 
rule, for the ways to be opened to allow the deficiency to be 
made good. From Marco Polo we hear much of the great 
wealth and the high development of commerce in the Mongol 
realm, but we must recall what was the state of the Europe 
of that day with which alone he could make comparison ; 
apart from the record of history, the coinage alone would 
tell us that China from the seventh to the eleventh century 
was far more prosperous and more highly developed than in 
the thirteenth century. To show the available resources 
of the Treasury at a time a little later but during the same 
(Mongol) dynasty, the following note, showing the tribute 
actually received by the Imperial Treasury, in a year of 
great prosperity, is illuminating : — 

a.d. 1329. 989 ting (= 49,450 taels) of silver and notes ; 
1,133,119 strings of cowrie shells ; 1,098,843 catties 
of raw silk ; 350,530 rolls of woven silk ; 72,915 
catties of cotton ; 211,223 pieces of woven cloth ; 
3,255,220 piculs of rice. 


The first issue of Mongol government notes was made in the 
first year (a.d. 1260) of Kublai Khan, the title of whose 
reign was Chung-tung, and the successive issues in this and 
the following reigns must be briefly summarised. 

a.d. 1260. Kiao-chao, representing silk, a continuation 
of the issues then in vogue ; fifty taels of silver would 
buy 1,000 taels of silk, represented by notes of the 
face value of 1,000 taels. (So stated by Edkins.) 

a.d. 1260. November. Issue of notes Chung-tung-chao 
of 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 cash. 
A note for 1,000 cash was worth a tael in Kiao-chao 
currency, and 2,000 cash in Kiao-chao currency repre- 
sented one tael in silver. — (N.B. one cash =yo 1 oo tael.) 

a.d. 1264. Treasury established in each province ; notes 
representing 12,000 ting = 600,000 taels constituted 
bank-note reserve. 

a.d. 1275. Li-chao notes issued, of 2, 3, and 5 cash, but 
soon withdrawn. 

a.d. 1287. Chih-yuan-chao notes issued of eleven denomina- 
tions from 5 to 2,000 cash. A tael of silver exchanged 
for 2,000 cash and a tael of gold for 20,000 cash in these 

a.d. 1309. Chih-ta-chao notes issued of thirteen denomina- 
tions from 2 cash to 2 taels of silver. One chih-ta-chao 
(tael of silver) was equivalent to 5,000 chih-yuan-chao 
cash, a depreciation in twenty-two years of 60 per cent. 

a.d. 1 31 2-1 32 1. During the reign of Jen-tsung there was 
over- issue of notes, and the issue of the Chih-ta notes 
for silver was stopped. The Chung-tung and Chih- 
yuan notes continued to circulate to the end of the 
Mongol Dynasty. 

We have a record of the issues (which must include re- 
issues for obliterated notes) for the first seventy years from 
a.d. 1260, which, not including Kublai's issue of Kiao-chao, 
gives us a total issue of irredeemable paper money in sixty- 
four of the first seventy years of Mongol rule amounting to 
47,611,276 ting or 2,380,563,800 taels nominal face value, the 


tael being always taken as equivalent to 1,000 cash. This is 
an average of over 37,000,000 taels a year ; and, as the coach 
gains in speed in running down hill, we may assume for the 
whole dynastic period of 108 years an annual average of 
40,000,000 taels, at a time when the richest of the sovereigns 
of Europe, placed inexorably upon a cash basis, counted 
himself passing rich in any year in which his budget exceeded 
the equivalent of a million taels. How this situation struck 
an intelligent European, ignorant of the use of instalments 
of credit and bewildered by the apparent signs of wealth 
around him, is shown in Marco Polo's comment ; and I 
reproduce it here to demonstrate how changed is Europe 
and how unchanged is China in the six centuries which have 
elapsed since it was written. 

" The Emperor's Mint then is in this same City of 
Cambuluc, and the way it is wrought is such that you 
might say he hath the Secret of Alchemy in perfection, 
and you would be right ! For he makes his money 
after this fashion. 

" He makes them take of the bark of a certain 
tree, in fact of the Mulberry Tree, the leaves of which 
are the food of the silkworms — these trees being so 
numerous that whole districts are full of them. What 
they take is a certain fine white bast or skin which lies 
between the wood of the tree and the thick outer bark, 
and this they make into something resembling sheets 
of paper, but black. When these sheets have been 
prepared they are cut up into pieces of different sizes. 
The smallest of these sizes is worth a half tornesel ; the 
next, a little larger, one tornesel ; one a little larger 
still is worth half a silver groat of Venice ; another a 
whole groat ; other yet two groats, five groats, and ten 
groats. There is also a kind worth one bezant of gold, 
and others of three bezants, and so up to ten.* All 
these pieces of paper are [issued with as much solemnity 

* The bezant is taken to equal one tael of silver, or 1,000 cash. 
One bezant = 20 groats = 133$ tornesel. 


and authority as if they were of pure gold or silver ; 
and on every piece a variety of officials, whose duty it 
is, have to write their names, and to put their seals. 
And when all is prepared duly, the chief officer deputed 
by the Kaan smears the Seal entrusted to him with 
vermilion, and impresses it on the paper, so that the 
form of the Seal remains stamped upon it in red ; the 
Money is then authentic. Any one forging it would 
be punished with death]. And the Kaan causes every 
year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, 
which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount 
all the treasure in the world. 

" With these pieces of paper, made as I have 
described, he causes all payments on his own account 
to be made ; and he makes them to pass current 
universally over all his kingdoms and provinces and 
territories and whithersoever his power and sove- 
reignty extends. And nobody, however important 
he may think himself, dares to refuse them on 
pain of death. And indeed everybody takes them 
readily, for wheresoever a person may go throughout 
the Great Kaan's dominions he shall find these pieces 
of paper current, and shall be able to transact all sales 
and purchases of goods by means of them just as well 
as if they were coins of pure gold. And all the while 
they are so light that ten bezants' worth does not 
weigh one golden bezant. 

" Furthermore all merchants arriving from India 
or other countries and bringing with them gold or 
silver or gems and pearls, are prohibited from selling 
to any one but the Emperor. He has twelve experts 
chosen for this business, men of shrewdness and ex- 
perience in such affairs ; these appraise the articles, 
and the Emperor then pays a liberal price for them in 
those pieces of paper. The merchants accept his price 
readily, for in the first place they would not get so 
good an one from anybody else, and secondly, they 
are paid without any delay. And with this paper- 


money they can buy what they like anywhere over 
the Empire,' whilst it is also vastly lighter to carry 
about on their journeys. And it is a truth that the 
merchants will several times in the year bring wares 
to the amount of 400,000 bezants, and the Grand Sire 
pays for all in that paper. So he buys such a quantity 
of those precious things every year that his treasure is 
endless, whilst all the time the money he pays away 
costs him nothing at all. Moreover several times in 
the year proclamation is made through the city that 
any one who may have gold or silver or gems or pearls, 
by taking them to the Mint shall get a handsome price 
for them. And the owners are glad to do this, because 
they would find no other purchaser give so large a 
price. Thus the quantity they bring in is marvellous, 
though those who do not choose to do so may let it 
alone. Still, in this way, nearly all the valuables in 
the country come into the Kaan's possession. 

" When any of those pieces of paper are spoilt — 
not that they are so very flimsy neither — the owner 
carries them to the Mint, and by paying 3 per cent, on 
the value he gets new pieces in exchange. And if any 
Baron, or any one else soever, hath need of gold or 
silver or gems or pearls, in order to make plate, or 
girdles or the like, he goes to the Mint and buys as 
much as he list, paying in this paper-money. 

. " Now you have heard the ways and means where- 
by the Great Kaan may have, and in fact has, more 
treasure than all the kings in the World ; and you 
know all about it and the reason why." * 

Ming Notes 

Bayonets form a poor seat for the throne of a ruler, and 
a constant diet of irredeemable assignats is not nutritious. 
With all the warlike prowess and rough hardihood of the 
Mongols, weakened though they may have been by a life of 

* " The Book of Scr Marco Polo," translated by Col. Henry Yule. 
London, 1871. Book II. Chap, xxiv, 





x vo 




luxury, their throne, which endured for three centuries in 
India, fell after a single century of dominion in China before 
the assault of the unwarlike Chinese, driven to rebellion 
by the burden of heavy taxation and by the evils of an 
irredeemable and depreciated paper currency. The first 
Ming Emperor, T'ai Tsu, whose reign title was Hungwu 
(a.d. 1368-1398), found himself confronted by a financial 
situation of grave difficulty, and was compelled for a time to 
continue, with all its evils, the currency system of his pre- 
decessors. Government notes were therefore issued, but 
other steps were taken to place the Imperial finances on a 
sound basis, and it redounds to the credit of the govern- 
ment that, in a single reign and a single generation, they 
were able to " resume specie payments/' 

I have been unable to obtain a copy of a Mongol govern- 
ment note, which would have had a special interest as 
illustrating the currency, the benefits of which Ser Marco 
Polo described in such glowing terms to an open-mouthed 
and open-eared Europe. I give, however, a reduced 
reproduction of a note for 1,000 cash issued by the 
first Ming Emperor (Hungwu, a.d. 1368-1398), who may 
be assumed to have followed closely the procedure and 
copied the forms of his predecessors. This 500-year-old 
instrument of credit has a curious history, furnishing an 
absolute guarantee of its authenticity. During the foreign 
occupation of Peking in 1 900-1 some European soldiers had 
overthrown a sacred image of Buddha, in the grounds of 
the Summer Palace, and, deposited in the pedestal (as in 
the corner-stones of our public buildings), found gems and 
jewelry and ingots of gold and silver and a bundle of these 
notes. Contented with the loot having intrinsic value, the 
soldiers readily surrendered the bundle of notes to a by- 
stander who was present " unofficially," Surgeon Major 
Louis Livingston Seaman, U.S.A., of New York, and he 
gave to the Museum of St. John's College at Shanghai the 
specimen which is here reproduced. 

The note is printed on mulberry-bark paper, which now 
is of a dark slate colour, the " something resembling sheets 


of paper, but black " of Marco Polo's description. The 
sheet of paper is 13*5 by 8*75 inches, and the design on the 
face is 126 by 83 inches. The border, 14 inch wide, is 
made of extended dragons filled around with an arabesque 
design, and is surmounted by a panel with the inscription 
(from right to left) " circulating government note of the 
Ming Empire." The space within the border is divided 
into two panels. The upper has on the two sides in con- 
ventionalised square seal characters, on the right " govern- 
ment note of the Ming Empire," on the left " circulating 
for ever and ever " ; between these two inscriptions, above, 
in large ordinary characters " one kwan " (or tiao or string), 
and below a pictorial illustration representing ten hundreds 
of cash. The lower panel contains the following : ' The 
Imperial Board of Revenue having memorialised the Throne 
has received the Imperial sanction for the issue of govern- 
ment notes of the Ming Empire, to circulate on the same 
footing as standard cash. To counterfeit is death. The 
informant will receive 250 taels of silver and in addition the 

entire property of the criminal. Hungwu year 

month day." A seal 3*25 inches square 

is impressed in vermilion once on the upper panel, 
once on the lower panel, bearing in square seal char- 
acters the legend " The Seal of the Government Note 
Administrators." On the back of the note, above, is 
impressed in vermilion a seal bearing in square seal 
characters the legend " Seal for Circulating Government 
Notes"; below, within a border 6*2 by 4*1 inches, is repeated 
the middle part of the upper panel of the face — one kwan, 
with a pictorial illustration representing ten hundreds of 

Hienfeng Notes. 

From a.d. 1403, it may be said, or at any rate from 
some time in the reign of Yunglo (a.d. 1403-1425), there 
were no fiduciary issues by the government, either of the 
Ming or the Tsing, until we come to the troubled times of 
Hienfeng (a.d. 1851-1861), when the necessities of the 


Treasury drove it to this method of replenishing its depleted 
reserves. In 1853, the year in which the issue of token 
coins began, the government resumed, after an interval of 
four and a half centuries, the issue of paper money, nominally 
redeemable but in practice never redeemed. The notes so 
issued were of two kinds, for copper cash and for taelsof silver. 

The cash notes were of four denominations, 500, 1,000, 
1,500, and 2,000 cash, and the silver notes were for 1, 3, 5, 
10, and 50 taels of the Metropolitan or Two-tael scale.* The 
issue of both was forced, but they rapidly depreciated in 
value until, in 1861, they circulated at only 3 per cent, of 
their face value, and soon disappeared from circulation. 

For nearly forty years from the accession of Tungchih 
(a.d. 1862) the issue of paper instruments of credit was left 
entirely to private hands, banks, and money-changers ; but 
recently some provincial governments, driven by the steady 
absorption of their revenues for Imperial purposes, have 
resumed the issue of government notes. Their re-intro- 
duction is of too recent a date to permit any extended 
comment upon the wisdom of the step, or upon the pre- 
cautions adopted to secure their convertibility ; but the 
partial acceptance which they have obtained is based on 
reasons which carry us back eleven hundred years. The 
circulation of the notes of private banks is limited to the 
radius of credit of the issuing bank ; the Tang government 
notes were acceptable chiefly because they furnished a 
safe and convenient means of transferring funds from place 
to place ; and, rather to the dismay of the authorities, this 
facility of transferring funds provides the chief reason for 
the circulation within the limits of a given province of 
present issues of government notes. 


Bimetallic Ratio 

There has always, for thirteen centuries at least, and 
in theory, been a more or less recognised correspondence 
* See page 156. 


and fixed ratio of convertibility between the copper and 
the silver currency of the Empire ; and among the many 
facts which show this, I need only refer to the few which 
have been mentioned above. The Tang coinage of the 
seventh century a.d. was based on the trimetallic ratio 
of i gold = 10 silver = 1,000 copper ; in the paper money 
issues of the Southern Sung and the Yuan, from the twelfth 
to the fourteenth centuries, the tiao or string, or thousand, 
of paper-money cash and the tael of silver are always 
regarded as synonymous terms (c.f Marco Polo, ubi supra), 
notwithstanding the fact that the paper money was much 
depreciated ; and the first Manchu Emperor (a.d. 1644), 
in his desire to conform in every way to Chinese theory 
and practice, inscribed on his coins their theoretic silver 
value, x"ooo * a taeL 

Silver Coins 

Five centuries after the Tang rulers had either fixed the 
bimetallic ratio or had adopted that which they found in 
existence, silver had appreciated to double its value in its 
relation to copper cash, one shoe of 50 taels of silver ex- 
changing for 100,000 cash ; and about a.d. 1183, during 
the reign of Hiaotsung, the second Emperor of the Southern 
Sung, China for the first, and (until a few years ago) last 
and only time, minted silver coins. There were five kinds, 
weighing 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 taels respectively, each tael 
passing for 2,000 cash. They could be used as official 
and commercial currency, and served equally as metallic 
reserve for the paper notes. This silver coinage only lasted 
three years. 

I am uncertain whether we should regard this as a true 
silver coinage of which the face and intrinsic values should 
correspond, or whether it was not an issue of depreciated 
silver token currency intended to serve mainly as metallic 
reserve to support the still further depreciated paper cur- 
rency, the issues of which under the same dynasty had begun 
fifty years before ; a fair parallel, were it not for the relative 
credit of the two governments, might be found in the silver 


reserve of the Bank of France, which, being based on gold, 
is counted at the ratio 1 : 16. A silver coin, an exact 
model of the cash of the reign, was issued during the reign 
of the Ming Wanli (a.d. 1573-1619), but this was probably 
a mint sport, much like the English silver pennies issued 
to-day. The silver coins of the nineteenth century in the 
collections of Wylie and Glover can hardly be regarded 
as official. This, so far as is known, is the complete record 
of the silver coinage of China up to a.d. 1889. 

Currency a Weight 

With these insignificant exceptions, China has never 
had a government coin of other metal than copper ; other 
than copper, the currency of the country is not a coin, 
but a weight. This weight is the " tael," * as it is called by 
foreigners, the Chinese name for it being Hang ; and when 
an operation in international trade, a wholesale purchase, 
Government indebtedness, or Customs duties have to be 
liquidated, payment is effected by weighing out the required 
number of " taels " of the stipulated quality of silver. 
A century ago Germany was the paradise of the money- 
changer with its numerous coinages, each circulating in 
its own principality ; but that was simplicity itself when 
compared with China. In China every one of the hundreds 
of commercial centres not only has its own tael- weight, 
but in many cases has several standards side by side ; and 
these taels of money will be weighed out in silver which, 
even in one place, will be of several degrees of fineness. 

Variability of Standards 

One town may be taken to typify many — the town of 
Chungking, in the province of Szechwan, in the far west of 
China. Here the standard weight of the tael for silver 
transactions is 555*6 grains, and this is the standard for all 
transactions in which the scale is not specified. Frequently, 

* Tael — from the Hindu " tola " through the Malayan word 
" tahil." 



however, a modification of the scale is provided for, de- 
pending in some cases upon the place from which the 
merchant comes or with which he trades, and in others 
upon the goods in which he deals. A merchant coming from 
Kweichow, or trading with that place, will probably, but 
not certainly, use a scale on which the tael weighs 548-9 
grains ; a merchant from Kweifu, a town on the Yangtze, 
a hundred miles from Chungking, will buy and sell with 
a tael 5627 grains ; and between these two extremes are 
at least ten topical weights of tael, all " current " at Chung- 
king. In addition to these twelve topical " currencies," 
there are others connected with commodities. One of the 
most important products of Szechwan is salt, and dealings 
in this are settled by a tael of 556-4 grains, unless it is salt 
from the Tzeliu well, in which case the standard is 557-7 
grains. A transaction in cotton cloth is settled with a 
tael of 555*0 grains, but for cotton yarn the tael is 556-0 
grains, and for raw cotton the tael is 547-7 grains. 

This seems confusion, but we are not yet at the end. 
Up to this point we have dealt only with the weight on 
the scale, but now comes in the question of the fineness of 
the silver with which payment is made. At Chungking 
three qualities of silver are in common use — " fine silver " 
1,000 fine current throughout the empire, " old silver " 
about 995 fine, and " trade silver " between 960 and 970 
fine ; and payment may be stipulated in any one of these 
three qualities. Taking the score of current tael-weights 
in combination with the three grades of silver, we have 
at least sixty currencies possible in this one town. 

This is characteristic of the Empire. The traveller, 
even a private individual, journeying from place to place in 
China, will be careful to take with him a small steel-yard 
and a string of a few selected " cash," the exact weight of 
which on his home scale is known to him. His first step 
in cashing a draft or exchanging the silver he brought 
with him is to ascertain the weight of his string of cash 
on the scales of the strange bank in the strange place ; 
and, having done this, he is able to work out the parity 





of exchange between his home and the place of his tem- 
porary sojourn. Even then, however, he is dependent 
on the banker in the matter of the quality of silver ; for- 
tunately, the commercial honor of the Chinese bankers 
stands high, though it is hardly to be expected that they 
should not profit by their expert knowledge. 

In China you must prove your axioms. We are ac- 
customed to currencies in which the unit of value is a 
defined and accurate weight of an alloy of a precious metal 
(commonly gold) of an exact and known degree of fineness. 
In China the silver currency is an article of barter, of which 
neither the weight nor the quality is anywhere fixed ; and 
in treating of the tael of silver, we must answer two ques- 
tions : What is a tael ? and What is silver ? Since " tael " 
connotes both a weight and a value, and since an essential 
element in value is the quality of the silver, we must first 
answer the question What is silver ? 


Silver is most commonly current in oval ingots called 
f shoes " from their resemblance to a Chinese shoe ; but 
what may be called fractional currency is in obovoid lumps 
weighing up to two or three taels. At Mengtsz the sycee 
most commonly current is the chieh-ting, more commonly 
known as the pai-fang ingot ; when laid flat on a sheet of 
paper and traced with a pencil, it has eight curvilinear 
lines, a figure not unlike the brass pieces inserted in doors 
to protect key-holes ; in weight the pieces vary from two 
taels up to five taels. At Peking the Sungkiang ingot 
is about 10 taels. The standard ingot of China weighs 
about 50 taels (from 49 to 54) and, formerly called ting, 
is now called pao (jewel, article of value, as in the inscription 
on the copper cash tung-pao = " current coin ") and more 
commonly yuan pao, probably standing for " round ingot " 
from its shape, oval in plan. 

The shoes of Shanghai are as shown in the accompanying 
plate, which represents a shoe inscribed in ink by the 
Assay Office of the Foreign Settlements as weighing 


49-94 taels and as being of silver for the quality of which 
275 must be added ; it is also stamped with dies at the 
Melting Establishment with the place (Shanghai), the name 
of the Establishment (Suiyuan), and a numeral (3) for the 
number of the furnace, of which the Establishment has six. 
Shanghai shoes weigh close on 50 taels each ; a lot of sixty 
of which I saw the weighing and touching, had fifty-four 
between 49*81 and 49*90 taels, five between 49*91 and 50-00 
taels, and one of 50*04 taels ; other lots might have the 
larger proportion just over 50 taels. Hankow and other 
Yangtze ports also cast oval shoes close on 50 taels in 
weight, and Tientsin as well. The shoes of Kiangsi are 
rectangular, with the lip projecting at each end only half 
an inch, weighing also about 50 taels. The shoes ordinarily 
have the top of the solid part parallel to the bottom ; but 
in the Newchwang shoe it is inclined, so that at one end 
the solid part is only two-thirds the thickness of the other 
end ; Newchwang shoes weigh from 53 to 54 taels, and 
quotations for " transfer money " (v. infra) are per shoe of 
nominally 53 taels. Except to make change the small lumps 
of silver are seldom seen at Shanghai, and when received 
from other cities are sent to be cast into shoes. 

The silver contained in the shoe is called sycee, the 
Cantonese pronunciation of hsi-sze, " fine silk " ; when it 
is theoretically standard silver of a fineness of 1,000 it is 
called tsu-seh wen-yin. 

Throughout China generally, except at Shanghai and 
in the country subordinated to it, silver is rated for quality 
by milliemes of a standard of " pure silver." Thus, at 
Tientsin all silver is reduced to a theoretic local standard 
of 992 ; at Chefoo, to one of 976 ; at Hankow, to one of 
967. At Shanghai and through the greater part of Kiangsu 
and Anhwei silver is rated, not by milliemes of a " pure 
silver " standard, but by the addition, to each shoe of about 
50 taels weight, of a quantity to indicate the degree of 
superiority of quality over a presumed standard which 
(subject to a certain degree of confusion between premium 
and discount) is 944 of the China standard of " pure silver," 


By this scheme of notation 2 - 8 silver (i.e. silver for the 
quality of which is added 2*8 per shoe, or 5*6 per 100) 
represents silver 1,000 fine, 27 silver is 998 fine, 24 silver is 
992 fine, or thereabouts. 

In Western countries the standard of 1,000. represents 
silver chemically pure, with no admixture of gold or of 
copper and lead. American quotations of bar silver are 
reduced to a basis of 998, and British quotations to a basis 
of 925 of this standard. In China the standard of 1,000 
seems to refer to a silver commercially pure, as shown by 
the crude methods of the touchstone or of crucible assaying. 
This is the standard of Kuping ; it is the standard to 
which are referred all local millieme standards, and in the 
Shanghai notation it is 2*8 silver. Even at Shanghai, 
however, super-pure silver is known in Chinese circles, 
and in the make-up of the Haikwan tael the requisite 
quality of silver is rated, not at 2*8 as for the " pure silver " 
of the Kuping tael, but at 3*084 (i.e. at 6* 168 per 100 taels) 
to represent a higher degree of purity. Even this, however, 
does not graphically represent a quality of silver corre- 
sponding to what is called 1,000 fine in Western countries. 
It has been ascertained in transactions in foreign bar silver 
that " pure silver " of the Kuping tael touch is actually 
987 fine when reduced to the Western standard of chemically 
pure silver ; and on this basis silver of the Haikwan tael 
touch recognised at Shanghai is actually 992*3 fine. 

Working on these figures it will be found that the Shang- 
hai tael contains 525 grains of silver of the Kuping tael 
touch, 522I grains of silver of the Haikwan tael touch, 
and about 5 18 J- grains of silver of the Western standard 
1,000 fine. 

I shall have more to say on the definition of the quality 
of silver when I come to treat of the Shanghai tael. 

The Tael 

It is not always possible to keep them apart in writing, 
but in reading it is necessary always to bear in mind the 
distinction between the tael of value and the tael of weight. 


At Tientsin, by " Tientsin tael " is meant one Hang-ping 
tael in weight of silver of the Hwa-pao standard 992 fine ; 
by " Hangping tael " is meant one Hangping tael in weight 
of silver or any other commodity, and, if of silver, it may 
be of Hwapao or any other stipulated standard ; to express 
fully what the foreigner calls the " Tientsin tael," the 
Chinese would say " Hang-ping tael of hwa-pao silver." 
It is not possible to use different words for the two meanings 
thus connoted, since they are interwoven ; and always to 
distinguish them otherwise would involve the use of much 
circumlocution. It must be left to the reader to make the 
distinction, since, even without this, there will be found 
to be enough of " proving axioms " to break constantly 
the thread of thought. 

The Tael of Weight 

The tael is the "ounce" of China, of which, as in England 
and America, 16 make one catty,* or Chinese " pound." 
In weighing the precious metals, however, the tael is the 
heaviest unit, and it has decimal subdivisions, each with 
its own name, down to the one thousand-million-millionth 

(rrooo^onDTTOoTooo^Too) P art of a tael > those in dail y use 
being the following : — 

10 Li (cash) = 1 Fen (Candarin). 
10 Fen = 1 Tsien (Mace). 

10 Tsien = 1 Liang (Tael). 

Seven places of decimals (the ten-millionth part) of a 
tael are frequently, even regularly, seen in statements of 
account of revenue and expenditure submitted to the 
Throne. This is the tael of the arithmetics, but its actual 
weight will best be considered under the head of the tael 
of currency ; it is sufficient here to say that the weight 
ranges, at different places and in the same place, from 
540 to 583 grains. 

* Catty or Kati — Malayan for pound. 


The Tael of Currency 

Of the various taels of currency two may be considered 
to have a universal range, the Haikwan, or " Customs " 
tael, and the Kuping, or " Treasury " tael ; and a third, 
the Tsaoping, or " Tribute " tael, is current over a wide 

Haikwan Tael 

The Haikwan tael is the currency in which duties are 
levied by the Imperial Maritime Customs, but it is a purely 
fictitious and non-existent currency. Inquiry leads to no 
indication that it ever has been an existent currency at 
any time since the opening of the Inspectorate General 
of Customs, and it is certain that it is not in current use 
at the present day. At no Custom House does any mer- 
chant tender Haikwan taels in payment of duties, and 
the invariable practice is to pay all Customs obligations 
in local currency at a rate of conversion settled on the 
opening of each of the several Customs Offices, now forty 
in number. The actual theoretic weight, apart from any 
question of the quality of silver, is not ascertainable with 
any degree of certainty. Using an official weight of 100 
taels dated 1867, which had been verified at Canton by a 
weight of 1846, it has been found to be 581*55 grains. The 
result of independent tests at Canton in the same year 
(1905) gave a weight of 581*83 grains, while other estimates 
range from 581 to 589 grains. The only outside authority 
to which appeal can be made is in the Treaties. By the 
Trade Regulations annexed to the British Treaty of 1858 
the " picul of one hundred catties is held to be equal to 
one hundred and thirty-three and one-third pounds, avoir- 
dupois," giving a catty of ij lb. av. and a tael of ij oz. av., 
equal to 583*3 grains ; while the Regulations annexed to 
the French Treaty of 1858 fix the picul at 60 kilos, and 
453 grammes, which gives a resultant tael of 37783 grammes 
or 583-1 grains. 

Taking the Haikwan tael, then, as being purely a money 


of account, and not an existing currency of the Empire, 
the place at which its value may be most conveniently 
found is Shanghai, at which port were paid in 1905 duties 
to the extent of 34 per cent, of the total Customs collection 
of the year. Here since the opening of the port, half a 
century ago, the rate of conversion has been Haikwan 
Tls.ioo = Shanghai Tls.111.40 worked out as follows : — 

Weight on local scale . . . . . . 100. 0.0.0 

Add for difference in weight . . . . 

Add for touch 

Add for expenses of melting, etc. . . . . 

Divide by the " Shanghai Convention," 0.98 109. 1.7. 2 


(N.B. — The proper name for the Shanghai tael is " Con- 
vention Currency," referring to the convention, or under- 
standing, by which 98 taels on the scale settle a liability 
of 100 taels in money of account.) 

It remains to ascertain the true value of the Shanghai 
tael. The weight used as the basis of this is the Tsaoping 
tael, and the equivalence is worked out as follows : 

Weight on scale . . . . . . . . 

Add for touch . . . . . . . . 

Divide by the " Shanghai Convention," 0.98 

Tsaoping taels 100 Shanghai taels . . 

The Tsaoping tael has been found to weigh 565 65 
grains ; and if in 100 Tsaoping taels of pure silver there are 
I0 7-7-5-5 taels of Shanghai convention currency, then the 
latter will contain 525 grains of pure silver of Kuping 
standard. On this basis the Haikwan tael is the equivalent 
of 584*85 grains of pure silver ; but note has now to be 
taken of the quality of the silver (v. supra, page 148). 


Introduced under the treaty of Nanking (1842), the 
lapse of sixty years has not sufficed to create modifications 
in this standard, which, moreover, is current for revenue 
purposes in all the ports open to foreign trade. Even with 
this currency, however, this immutability has to be taken 
with some reservation. It seldom happens that the mer- 
chant has at hand to pay his duties the fine silver (1,000) 
which is, theoretically, the standard for all payments to 
government ; and tendering other silver, commonly the 
ordinary trade silver of the place, the rate at which it shall 
be accepted becomes a matter of arrangement with the 
banker ; the latter, having to account to the government 
for a certain weight of silver 1,000 fine, will be careful to 
receive an amount in other silver fully sufficient in value 
to cover his liability. Another element of variation, even 
in this currency, is the difference between the receiving 
and paying rates in force in all government treasuries, 
all banks, and with those merchants of sufficiently strong 
standing to make their own counting-house rules ; this 
difference, usually between a quarter and a half of one 
per cent., is made not by charging a commission, but by 
boldly using two sets of weights, one for receiving and 
one for paying, and is intended to compensate for the 
labor of weighing ingots and lumps of silver of no fixed 
weight, and for the risk incurred and expert knowledge 
requisite for taking in silver of unknown degrees of fineness. 
The practice is defended on the same ground as that of the 
foreign exchange banks in quoting different buying and 
selling rates for bills of exchange. 

Kuping Tael 

The Kuping tael is the currency in which are collected 
all other dues to the government than Customs duties, 
excepting only those which are levied in kind (such as the 
grain tribute) or in copper cash. Theoretically uniform 
throughout the Empire, there are still differences to be 
observed apart from the differentiated receiving and paying 
rates referred to aboveT In one aspect this tael may be 


considered as " bank money " — a fictitious medium of 
exchange from one currency to another — as when we find 
that (with normal exchange at 1,200 cash to the tael) 
2,000 or 3,000 or 4,000 cash or more are levied where a 
tax, assessed in taels, is collected in cash, while the ex- 
change is fixed at 800 cash or less where a tax, assessed 
in cash, is collected in silver. This, however, from another 
point of view, may be taken as an eccentricity of the Chinese 
taxing offices. The normal standard Kuping tael is 575*8 
grains of silver 1,000 fine ; this is the receiving rate (the 
paying rate being 0*2 per cent, lighter) at the Imperial 
Treasury, and the several provincial treasuries vary from 
this standard in some instances as much as one per cent. 
Where the foreign obligations of the Imperial Government 
are concerned the equivalence of the several currencies is 
taken as follows : — 

100 Haikwan taels = 101-642335 Kuping taels. 
100 Kuping taels = 109-60 Shanghai taels. 

Tsaoping Tael 

As the weight element of a currency tael, the Tsaoping 
tael is current throughout the provinces contributing tri- 
bute in kind (mainly rice) which is forwarded to the capital, 
either by sea or by the Grand Canal, viz. in the provinces 
of Kiangsi, Anhwei, Kiangsu and Chekiang ; it is also 
the regular tael in use at Chefoo, on the sea route to the 
north, but is not known at Tientsin, the northern terminus 
of the Grand Canal and the port of disembarkation by 
the sea route. It may be stated with some degree of con- 
fidence to weigh 565-65 grains, subject always to the possi- 
bility of oscillation in the standard. While the weight 
is more or less constant, varying between one place and 
another by no more than a tenth to a half per cent. (100 
Soochow Tsaoping taels =- 99/90 Shanghai Tsaoping taels 
by weight), the tael of currency is based in different places 
on different standards of silver. At Chefoo the standard 
is 976, at Kiukiang and Wuhu 994, at Hangchow 997. 


In places where the standard of silver is quoted by degrees 
of betterness, as at Shanghai and on the lower Yangtze,* 
the standard for Tsaoping is 275 silver which, referred to 
a Kuping standard, is 999. 

Local Taels 

It may be said that every commercial place has, apart 
from the various government taels, its half-dozen, or dozen, 
or score of local taels, all generally recognised and all cur- 
rent ; i.e. each of them is a recognised currency when it 
is so stipulated, as we have seen in the case of the cur- 
rencies of Chungking. Usually, however, if not generally, 
among these various taels there is one which is recognised 
as the currency of the place, in which payments would 
be made when there is no stipulation to the contrary, which 
will be commonly stipulated, and into which remittances 
are made from other places ; for even in China the necessity 
is felt for some limitation on the kaleidoscopic varieties 
which would otherwise perplex the minds of even Chinese 
bankers. Sometimes, but by no means generally, this 
recognised local tael will extend its influence over the 
surrounding country within a limited radius ; but ordi- 
narily the right of even the country banker to live is fully 
recognised, and every place is privileged to adopt its own 
standards. I have notes of 170 well-recognised and different 
currencies, gathered mainly from the Treaty ports and 
their immediate vicinity. 

Peking Taels 

The capital, Peking, is one place, it may be said the 
one place of importance, in which no one currency has 
emerged as the one local tael. Being the capital, the 
Kuping tael is of course much in evidence as the currency 
of all official government transactions. Besides this there 
are three standards of tael weight — the Kung-fa of 5557 

* v. supra, page 148. 


grains, the Market of 552*4 grains, and the Metropolitan 
or Two-tael * scale of 5417 grains — and two recognised 
standards of silver, 1,000 and 980 fine respectively. Each 
standard of weight (except the Kuping) is expressed in 
each of the two standards of silver, with the result that 
there are at Peking seven taels all equally current. The 
foreign banks established there have within a few years 
adopted the Kung-fa tael of 1,000 silver as their currency 
of account. Each of these currencies, except the Kuping 
and Kung-fa, is further subject to a difference of 06 to 0*9 
per cent, according as it is " equalised " or " empty " or 
" mercantile " or " complete " ; thus 100 Kung-fa taels 
are equivalent to Metropolitan taels 102 '8o if mercantile, 
10270 if empty, 102 "6o if equalised, but only 102 'oo if 

Tientsin Taeh. 

At Tientsin I have note of nine taels generally known, 
and two standards to which silver is reduced. Of these, 
the tael which for forty years past has been recognised 
as " the Tientsin tael " is the Merchants tael weighing 
557 '4 grains of silver 992 fine. For some occult reason 
there has lately (since 1900) been introduced a " New 
Merchants " tael of 557 "6 grains, differing from the old 
established local tael by only 0*00038 part of itself or less 
than y^q of one per cent., the standard of silver remaining 
the same ; this new tael has not yet worked its way into 
general acceptance. As an illustration of the ordinary 
Chinese rough-and-ready methods of banking it may be 
noted that the true equivalence of Haikwan Tls.ioo 
is Tientsin Tls.i05*2i5 ; and that for many years, in paying 
Customs duties, for every 100 Haikwan taels Chinese mer- 
chants paid Tientsin Tls.106, foreign merchants in general 
paid Tientsin Tls.105, and Russian merchants for tea paid 
Tientsin Tls.104. 

* The addition of 2 taels in the hundred, 2 per cent., will bring 
this to the value of the Market tael ; hence probably the name. 


Hankow Tael 

At Hankow one tael stands out above the rest as " the 
Hankow tael " ; and, though the triple city at Hankow 
is a great commercial emporium not created by foreign 
trade, this is the " Foreign rule " tael, weighing 5547 
grains, of " Foreign rule " silver 967 fine. 

Canton Tael 

At Canton, and for a considerable area commercially 
tributary to it, extending beyond the limits of the province 
of Kwangtung, the standard tael is the Sze-ma tael, weighing 
579*85 grains, being the heaviest mercantile tael in the 
Empire ; silver was originally, and is in theory, reduced 
to the standard of 1,000 fine. This sounds as if we had 
here a departure from the prevailing diversity of currency, 
and could point to a tael, uniform in weight and value, 
not confined to one city, but current through a large com- 
mercial area. The bankers must, however, be reckoned 
with ; and, both in Canton and throughout the whole area, 
while we find the Sze-ma to be the standard of weight, it is 
usually varied by being subject to discounts, fixed for each 
sub-standard, but supplying that variablity which is 
demanded for all transfers in China from place to place, 
from bank to bank, or from account to account. These 
sub-standards are known by the per-mill proportion to the 
Sze-ma standard ; and I have note of taels of the 998, 
996, 995, 993, 992, 990, 988, and 986 scale, being respectively 
0'2, 0-4, 0*5, 07, 0'8, i*o, 1*2, and 14 percent, lighter than 
standard Sze-ma in weight. Formerly the silver was 
always taken as 1,000 fine, but in the last half -century 
dollars, mainly Mexican, more or less battered and chopped, 
have entirely supplanted ingots ; for large transactions 
payment is always made by weight, and never by count. 
The result is a curious medley, it being always necessary 
to express clearly if the tael is of " foreign silver " (900 fine) 
or of " pure silver " ; in the latter case payment is effected 
by weighing out 10 per cent, additional of the dollar silver. 


The question is even further complicated by a practice, which 
has crept in of recent years, of making 20 percent, of pay- 
ments in subsidiary silver coins (800 fine), with perhaps 
some bargaining as to whether the proportion shall be 
15 or 25 per cent. Here we have a case of degeneration 
within the memory of men now living. Disregarding any 
question of what constitutes " pure silver," a tael con- 
taining 579*85 grains of fine silver becomes one of 574*1 
grains, and ultimately one of 561*4 grains ; and, as there 
is a tendency now (1906) to substitute 20-cent pieces en- 
tirely for dollars, the tael is on the way to become one 
containing 510*3 grains of fine silver. These figures are all 
subject to proportionate reduction for each of the various 
sub-standards of weight. 

Shanghai Tael 

I come now to the consideration of the currency at 
Shanghai, the commercial metropolis of China. Omitting 
the government and other exceptional taels, I must first 
note the exclusive use of the Canton standard (tael = 579*85 
grains) for dealings in foreign bar silver ; a practice origi- 
nating when foreign trade was centred at Canton and con- 
tinued when the foreign banks and merchants brought 
Cantonese as their first compradors and shroffs to Shanghai, 
has been sanctified by use and by the ingrained habit of 
introducing, whenever possible, further elements of con- 
version into all dealings with the precious metals. Then 
the Tsaoping tael, described above, is fully current and fully 
recognised at Shanghai and in a large area around, and 
is the ordinary currency for Chinese remittances through 
Chinese banks to places in China, e.g. a remittance to Han- 
kow is converted from " Shanghai taels " to Tsaoping taels 
and thence to " Hankow taels." Finally the legitimate 
banking and trading currency of the place is the " Shanghai 
tael " or " Shanghai convention currency," which is also 
the standard of international exchange for the trade of 
North China and the Yangtze basin, all other quotations in 
local currencies being re-conversions from the rate for 


Shanghai currency. The rate of the day is accepted by 
merchants as the rate of conversion between two fixed 
currencies ; and yet, if we take exchange on London as an 
example, one of the currencies stands for the immutable 
in finance, while in the other it is doubtful if many of the 
foreign merchants who so blindly base their operations on 
this exchange quotation could go into the treasury of a 
Chinese bank and weigh out for themselves a Shanghai tael, 
assuming even that they could read the inscriptions on the 
weights they used. The value of the Shanghai tael is made 
up of three elements — the weight, the quality of silver, and 
a convention. The weight on the scale is the Tsaoping 
tael of 565-65 grains, the silver is reduced to a standard 
of 944 fine on the Kuping basis of 1,000 fine, and the con- 
vention is that 98 taels of this weight and this silver settle 
a liablity of 100 taels " Shanghai convention currency." 
In order fully to understand what is a Shanghai tael, how 
it may be ascertained, and what may be done with it when 
once ascertained, let us consider the processes to be gone 
through in an exchange operation under present conditions. 
Of course, in Shanghai as in London, the merchant will 
ordinarily draw his cheque, against which the bank will 
give him its bill of exchange ; but somewhere, and some 
time, there will be a cash transaction ; and thoroughly to 
understand the situation we must see what, in Shanghai, 
corresponds to the act of a London merchant who takes 
a thousand sovereigns to the bank and gets a draft on 
Paris for 25,150 /. or 25,175 /. according to the exchange/ 
Let us assume the simple case where our Shanghai mer- 
chant wishes to remit the contents of a box full of silver 
(if he wishes to make up an exact sum in Shanghai currency, 
certain complications are added). The silver in the box 
will be in the shape of " shoes " of " sycee " of about 50 
taels each, and of varying " touch " (degrees of fineness). 
If these shoes are marked, in ink, with the results of a 
previous assay at the Assay Office for the Foreign Settle- 
ment, the preliminary stage becomes unnecessary ; but if 
they have come in the course of trade from another port, 


or if their last previous assay was made by the Assay Office 
for the Chinese City, then all existing marks are washed 
off and the silver must be sent to the proper office. Here 
each shoe is weighed and the result written on one side ; 
it is then " touched " and the difference (usually an ad- 
dition) from a certain standard, as indicated by the colour 
on the touchstone, is written on the other side. This 
difference for touch is so much for the shoe irrespective 
of its exact weight, which is anything btween 49 and 54 
taels, but an allowance of 0-05 tael is added for each tael 
by which the weight of the shoe exceeds 50 taels ; thus if 
the quality of the silver is 2*70, the addition for a shoe 
weighing 4975 or one of 50-05 taels is 270, for one of 51*25 
taels is 275, for one of 52-15 taels is 2'8o, and so on. Let 
us take two such shoes weighing 50 and 51 taels and having 
2 - 6o and 2-40 respectively added for touch, making for the 
two 50 + 2-60 + 51 + 2-40=106-00 ; this result, divided by 
0-98 (the Shanghai " convention ") gives 108*163 as the 
number of Shanghai taels in our two shoes. If the tran- 
saction is one in Shanghai currency only, this ends it, the 
whole operation corresponding to the single action of the 
London merchant who takes £108 3s. 4^. from his cash 
to pay a bill ; but we have now to connect this with foreign 
exchange. First, it is to be noted that at the present day 
no other currency is used at Shanghai, all others being 
reduced to Shanghai taels. The government, for example, 
in making payments for indebtedness or indemnity, does 
not use the Kuping (" Treasury ") tael weights or the pure 
silver (1,000 fine), which make up the Kuping tael cur- 
rency, but pays in Shanghai currency at the rate of 109- 60, 
calculated as follows : 

Kuping taels 100 weight = Tsaoping taels . . ior8oo 
Add for touch of pure silver on two shoes . . 5-600 

Divide by the " convention "0*98 . . . . 109-592 

Add for meltage fee . . . . . . . . "008 



So with Customs duties, merchants pay in Shanghai 
taels at the fixed rate 111*40 and never tender the " Hai- 
kwan tael-weight of pure silver " specified by treaty. 

Coming now to the exchange operation, we have first 
to find our parity of exchange, and to do this we must get 
the equivalence in foreign notation. The weight used for 
Shanghai currency is the Tsaoping tael, and this is 565*65 
grains ; for pure silver the addition for touch is 2*8 per shoe, 
which the Chinese treat as if it were 5-6 per cent. ; and the 
" convention " is 0*98. One Tsaoping tael of pure silver is, 
therefore, 1*07755 Shanghai tael; and one Shanghai tael 
contains 524*93 grains of fine silver. In one ounce of silver 
British Standard (0*925) are 444 grains of fine silver, or 
84*6 per cent, of the amount in the Shanghai tael ; and to 
get the parity of exchange for the latter the London price 
of bar silver must be divided by 0*846.* The actual rate of 
exchange is, of course, affected by the demand and supply 
of bills wanted and offered, but in the great and frequent 
fluctuations in the value of silver bullion we have an ever- 
present element of instability which must be taken into 
account. Our Shanghai merchant, who has once gone 
through such a series of manipulations and calculations, is 
likely to consider his time of too much value to repeat the 
transaction, and, as is actually the case, will leave such 
operations in future to his comprador, until such time as he is 
put on the same footing as his London brother. 

Newchwang Transfer Money 

One currency practice, recalling the " bank money " of 
the old Amsterdamsche Wisselbank, must be referred to. 
At Newchwang the local tael is 555 *i grains of silver 992 
fine. Except of copper there is (or, as the war may have 
caused a change, has been) little of the metals in circulation, 
silver being commonly deposited at the banks, which permit 
removal only on the first days of the third, sixth, ninth, and 

* Subject to modification by consideration of the true standard 
of quality of silver (v. supra, page 148), 



twelfth months, but allow transfers from account to account. 
This "transfer money" is exclusively used in the settlement 
of all mercantile transactions. On deposit, and for renewal 
on each quarter day, the depositor is credited with a premium 
which varies with the demand for money, but which, in 
ordinary peaceful times, ranges from 020 to 6 per cent. 
Exchange quotations also are always quoted in transfer 
money, not in hard silver. An ordinary exchange operation 
would be as follows : — 

Silver deposited, Newchang taels . . . , ioo*oo 
Premium on deposit, 160 per shoe . . 3*00 

Transfer money credited . . . . . . 103*00 

Exchange premium 3 J per cent. . . . , 3-35 

Shanghai taels . . . . . . .. 106*35 

It may be noted that the parity of exchange is 100 
Newchwang taels of silver = 104*89 Shanghai taels. The 
rates of premium given above are, as has been stated, those 
of ordinary conditions ; the effect of the stress of war on 
the money market and the financial position of the bankers 
may be seen from the quotations of the last day of 1904 : 
Silver Tls. 1,000 = Transfer-money Tls. 1,358 50 (quoted 
Tls.72 per shoe) ; Transfer Tls. 1,000 = Shanghai Tls.785. 

These figures show the banker protecting his reserves, 
apparently giving 36 per cent, premium for deposits and 
charging 22 per cent, discount for withdrawals instead of 
giving a premium. This works out to a rate of exchange 
for cash transactions, however, of Newchwang Tls. 100 = 
Shanghai Tls. 105 -65. 

Introduction of Foreign Coins 

A foreigner, as an individual, objects to carrying around 
in his pocket a4-lb.lump of silver which he cannot subdivide, 
and he equally objects to carrying 6-lb. weight of coppers as 
the only fractional equivalent of the silver dollar to which 
he is accustomed ; he also objects to ignorance of the 


quality of the silver which he will take from his pocket to 
make minor payments. All this seems axiomatic to people 
at home, but it is necessary to state the axiom in order to 
explain why foreign coins have been introduced into China. 
In the north and in Mid-China these coins have remained 
the housekeeping currency of the foreigner, never having been 
admitted into the trade of the Chinese, and the foreigner is 
made to pay for his luxury of a coin in which he can have 
confidence. The same weight in a coin (the silver dollar) 
with the same inscription is worth at Shanghai from 3 per 
cent, to 5 per cent, more than at Canton, whether the value 
is expressed in gold, in silver taels, or in commodities ; 
but at Shanghai the coin remains as it came from the mint, 
and at Canton it is chopped. In the south the quicker- 
witted Cantonese and Fukienese have accepted the foreign 
coin, but have done so in a peculiarly Chinese manner. A 
coin is an officially guaranteed weight of a certain metal ; 
the Chinese accept that for what it is worth, but the first 
banker or merchant into whose hands the foreign coin comes 
" chops " it with an impressed ideogram about an eighth of 
an inch square, thereby giving the tradesman and the private 
individual his certificate of bona fides of the guaranteeing 
government. This is repeated by each succeeding banker, 
until in the end the chopped dollar resembles a disc, or 
rather a cup, of hammered silver work. 

Foreign Dollars 

The first dollar to be introduced was the Carolus (Spanish) 
dollar, also called the " Pillar " dollar from its design — the 
Pillars of Hercules. This for many years was the only 
foreign coin accepted by the Chinese ; and a curious survival 
of its former vogue is seen at Wuhu, on the Yangtze, where 
the few remaining unchopped specimens of the eighteenth 
and early nineteenth century, estimated not to exceed 400,000 
in all, form a favourite medium of exchange and command 
a premium generally of 30 or even 40 per cent, over their 
intrinsic value. For fully eighty years the dollars of 
Charles IV. (a.d. 1788-1808) have commanded a premium of 


at least 30 per cent., but not those of his predecessor or his 
successor, and originally over a considerable area of country 
from Canton to the Yangtze. On the introduction of the 
Mexican dollar, sixty years ago, it was readily accepted at 
Canton, and the Carolus was " demonetised." At Shanghai, 
however, and in the Yangtze basin the Carolus held its own 
and was the sole currency of the foreign banks and merchants, 
and for the sale of imports and purchase of exports and for 
exchange quotations. The ravages of the Taiping rebellion 
restricted the consumption of imports, and notwithstanding 
increased importations of Carolus dollars, collected from all 
parts of the world, they were soon driven to a premium, 
which by 1855 amounted to 25 per cent., and in 1856 to 30 
per cent, of their intrinsic value ; and the curious spectacle 
was seen of exchange quoted at Canton at 4s. 6d. per 
dollar (Mexican of 416 grains) and at Shanghai at 6s. and 
more per dollar (Carolus of 402^- grains). The situation 
became intolerable, and on a fixed day merchants' accounts 
at the banks were transferred, unit for unit, from a currency 
(the Carolus) containing 362 grains of fine silver, to a currency 
(the Shanghai tael) containing nominally 525 grains of fine 
silver per unit. A Carolus dollar lies before me as I write, 
bought at Wuhu for 1-40 Mexican dollar. With a diameter 
of 1 56 inch, it weighs 26*08 grammes =402*5 grains, over 
3 per cent, lighter than the Mexican dollar. On the obverse 
it bears the King's head wreathed with laurel and the 
inscription .1808. carolus. nil. del gratia. On the reverse 
is a shield quartered with the arms of Castille and Leon, 
countercharged with three fleur-de-lys, the shield sur- 
mounted by an Imperial crown and standing between two 
columns (the Pillars of Hercules) bearing a scroll inscribed 
plus ultra ; the inscription reads .hispan. et ind. rex. 
m. 8 R. t.h. The milling is as usual and the reeding -0-0-0-. 
The obverse is stamped in black with a design having a 
Chinese character in the middle, constituting the guarantee 
of some Chinese banker. In Formosa * the chopped 

* Two and a quarter million of these dollars were imported at 
Tamsui in 1895 for the tea season 


Carolus remained the ordinary currency at its intrinsic 
valuation up to the time of the Japanese occupation in 1895. 
The next to be accepted was the Mexican, called by Chinese 
the " Eagle " dollar from its design — an eagle grasping a 
cactus in its talons. This has never been displaced from 
popular estimation, though various attempts have been 
made. Thirty years ago an American " trade dollar " 
was introduced, but the wisdom of Congress decreed that it 
should displace its rival by its weight — 420 grains instead of 
the 416^ grains of the Mexican ; the natural result, when 
these two coins were put into circulation side by side among 
this shrewd people, was that the heavier coin went at once 
into the melting-pot. The Japanese dollar (the yen) followed, 
and attained a moderate degree of popularity, but the 
establishment of a gold basis for this coin put an end to its 
issue as a monometallic silver coin. The later British and 
French trade dollars have not met with any great degree 
of success, except perhaps since the outbreak of the Russo- 
Japanese war. 

Chinese Dollars and Subsidiary Coinage 

The Chinese themselves have seen the utility of coins 
and have established large plants for minting at several of 
the provincial capitals. Their time-honored copper coins, 
cast from moulds, are crude productions ; but the fine 
stamped copper cash, which were the first product of the 
mints, met with no favor ; and, as their issue involved a 
loss to the government, it was not continued. The mints 
then turned their attention to the dollar, and many millions 
of these coins were turned out. These Chinese dollars were 
not freely received for taxes, and when taken were accepted 
by weight, and not by count ; they had not the prestige of 
the Mexican, but had only a provincial guarantee, and out- 
side the province of issue circulated only at a discount ; they 
would have disturbed, had they any vitality, the calculations 
of money-changers ; they gave no seigniorage to the mint ; 
and of late years the annual output has been thousands 
instead of millions. The energy oi the mints has in 


recent years been devoted to the issue of subsidiary coinage. 
First io-cent and 20-cent pieces, which, consisting of silver 
800 fine, while the dollar was 900 fine, could be sold from the 
mint at no cents for the dollar and still show a profit ; these 
pieces became popular with the smaller money-changers 
because of the margin between the rate of issue and the 
intrinsic value, and because of the petty speculation per- 
mitted by the margin of value. Then followed the copper 
cent which is now the popular coin, since it has an exchange 
value greater than the hundredth part of a dollar, and the 
money-changer, who makes his profit from the depreciated 
silver coinage, will make it also from appreciated copper 
coin. The tourist who draws on his letter of credit at a 
foreign bank in Shanghai, having to receive so many dollars 
and so many (say 74) cents, for the odd cents will be given 70 
cents in depreciated silver, but for the 4 cents he will receive 
3 copper cents and 2 copper cash, since by the exchange 
of the day 32 cash are the equivalent of four-hundredths of 
a dollar. I leave the last two sentences as they were written 
in 1905, in order to show how great has been the depreciation 
in this coin within twelve months. Now (July 1906) the 
tourist will still receive his 70 cents in depreciated silver, 
but for the 4 cents he will no longer be given 3 copper 
cents and 2 cash, but will receive 4 copper cents — actually 
worth $0*0357. 

General Considerations 

In China the currency is at the top a weight pure and 
simple, in the middle a combination of weight and token 
currency, and at the bottom a coin which stands on its own 
feet, and neither receives support from nor absolutely gives it 
to any other unit in the series. At the top is the tael (call it 
the "ounce," and it will be better realised), in which payments 
are made in precisely the same way that delivery is taken of a 
lot of silver bars. Then comes the dollar, which, though a 
coin, is nowhere legal tender, and of which the specimens 
from the Chinese mints are inscribed, not generally dollar 
or " yuen," but merely 72 hundredths of a tael ; though so 


inscribed, dollars of silver are nowhere fixed in terms of taels 
of silver, but are quoted at rates which vary from day to 
day according to the demand and supply, fluctuating within 
a range of six or more per cent. Then come subsidiary 
silver coins fractional to the dollar, but subject to a fluctuat- 
ing rate of exchange such that the dollar may this year 
change for no cents and next year for only 95 cents in small 
coin. Next comes the copper cent, inscribed at the mints 
of some provinces as worth " one-hundredth of a dollar," 
and of others as worth " ten cash," but never treated as 
correlated to the dollar ; whether considered in its relation 
to the dollar or to the cash, it is a token coin worth intrinsi- 
cally less than half its nominal value. Last comes the 
copper cash, the currency of the people. Into this series 
of non-related currencies, each unit of which is in a state of 
unstable equilibrium, fixed neither in itself nor in relation 
to other units, China is now required to introduce system 
and uniformity and to give a legal tender character to any 
coin or currency which she may adopt, while the inborn 
disposition of her people is to accept no coin and no currency 
as legal tender, but to make them all except the lowly cash 
the subject of barter. Where shall she begin ? Is she to 
take her fundamental coin, the cash, with a present-day 
value of the ten-thousandth part of a pound sterling, and 
build upon it ? This seems the natural course to those who 
consider first the well-being of her patient, industrious people, 
whose householders maintain their families on sixpence a 
day, and through the existence of this mite of a mite are 
enabled to maintain them in comfort. Or shall she con- 
sider first the broader interests of her international exchanges 
and of the powerful body of bankers and merchants active 
in the distribution of goods through the Empire ? 

Multiply what has been written above a hundredfold, and 
some idea will be conceived of the currency question in China. 
To reform it would naturally appear no more difficult than 
to introduce the metric system into England ; it should even 
have behind it a greater weight of popular support, in propor- 
tion as the simplification of the currency of four hundred 


millions should give ten times greater relief than the simpli- 
fication of the measures of forty millions. This presupposes 
that the four hundred millions are crying for relief, but we 
must first see who it is that call for currency reform. The 
foreign merchant stands in the first place, with his crying 
need for fixity of exchange between gold and silver, which 
requires for its establishment a fixed unit of currency, which 
in turn can only be attained by coinage. That he will also 
be freed from bondage to his comprador does not appeal 
to him, since he is unlikely to realise their relative positions, 
and the activity of his advocacy will be weakened by so 
much ; moreover, there are in China less than a thousand 
firms of European and American nationality, even including 
the protected races, such as those from British India, and 
including branch firms. Then come the foreign banks, 
ten in number, standing like Isacchar between two burdens ; 
they may consider that their profits from rapid fluctuations 
in exchange, of the causes of which they have prior know- 
ledge, will be made good by the development of legitimate 
trade resulting from certainty of exchange ; and they may 
set against their profits from changing funds from one 
standard of currency to another their newly acquired ability 
to keep their own treasuries. The Government of China 
will welcome any measure which will set a limit to the 
amount which it must take from its revenues to pay the 
indemnities due to the Foreign Powers ; and, as a corporate 
entity, may be willing to have a uniform currency in which 
the revenue may be paid and received. No other element 
of support can be brought in by any flight of the imagination. 
All the vested interests in China will be against the change. 
The members of the Government as individuals, from the 
highest Minister of State in Peking to the humblest assistant- 
deputy sub-district magistrate, will give it their tacit, if 
not openly-expressed, opposition. The tax-collector, with 
his assistants and his servants, and backed by his family to 
the third and the fourth generation, will fight strenuously 
against any obligation to pay into the Treasury the exact 
coin which he has received from the taxpayer. The power- 


ful body ol Chinese bankers, organised as such when Europe 
did not yet know the science, will accept the change only if 
they are shown the possibility of greater profits than under 
existing conditions. The compradors and shroffs may be 
trusted to do their best to resist any attempt to curtail their 
privileges and profits. Even the native merchants and 
tradesmen, who will benefit enormously by simplification of 
the currency, will also oppose a change from the present 
system, in which each man counts confidently on getting 
the better in the encounter of wits. Ordinarily the prole- 
tariat remains neutral in such a question ; but in China the 
merest coolie, earning sixpence by a long day of hard work, 
will spend an hour of his time to gain on exchange the 
equivalent of ten minutes' work. 



While the currency of the Empire is in a state of confusion, 
it is at the same time regulated by, and in the interest of, 
the bankers and money-changers, trained in their pro- 
fession for many centuries. The state of the weights and 
measures is, however, chaos itself, and the amount of regu- 
lation applied to it is infinitesimal. In this country of 
weak application of the governmental function and of 
widely democratic organisation, the trader uses as a matter 
of course the differentiated measures which are illegal in 
modernised countries, buying with a long or heavy measure 
and selling with a short or light measure ; and the only 
interference by government takes the form of an Imperial 
edict at an interval of perhaps a century, or an occasional 
proclamation which is disregarded as soon as the rain has 
washed the ink. The guilds make some attempt to pre- 
serve a local uniformity in the measures accepted by them- 
selves, but they have no official function, and their efforts 
are mainly directed to secure open dealing between their 
own members, their motto being that of the New York 
statesman, " The public be damned." In this chaos, 
however, some conventions must be recognised if trade is 
to go on, and fixed theoretic standards can be found ; but 
it may be said at once that in any place every trade has 
its own standard, and that the trade standards of one place 
are not the same as those of other places. 

The English peoples are in a position to understand, 
better than any others, the theoretic system — the tables of 
weights and measures — prevailing in China, having them- 



selves a system in which the various measures have no 
common inter-relation, and of which the tables in use in 
the United Kingdom and the United States proceed on 
no one notation, but skip lightly from dozens to scores, 
from sevens to fours, from a decimal to a duodecimal no- 
tation. In this last respect the Chinese are wiser, and 
with two exceptions base their tables on a purely decimal 
notation ; but in their disregard of any common relation 
between the different measures, they are on the same 
footing as ourselves. 

While in theory their tables are based generally on 
a decimal notation, the Chinese would not be Chinese if, 
in applying this theory to practice, they did not make some 
differences, perfectly recognised and accepted as the custom 
of the trade and place. Thus the table gives 100 kin 
(catty) as making 1 tan (picul) ; but at Amoy the picul of 
indigo is no catties, of white sugar 95 catties, and of brown 
sugar 94 catties ; of rice the picul at Shanghai is 100 catties, 
at Amoy 140 catties, and at Foochow 180 catties ; for 
tribute rice the stipulated picul is 120 catties, but at Nan- 
king it is 140 catties. These are enough to illustrate this 
form of irregularity ; but generally the purpose of this 
chapter is to consider only the standards accepted at each 
place by the guilds concerned. 


As in England and America 16 ounces make 1 pound, 
in China 16 liang (tael) make 1 kin (catty), constituting one 
of the two exceptions to the purely decimal system ; then 
100 catties make 1 picul. In practice quantities of ordinary 
commodities are usually, and in exact accounts invariably, 
stated in the single unit of catty, even when the amount is 
millions ; and for valuable articles, such as musk, in taels, 
even to the amount of thousands. The catty generally known 
to foreigners is that imposed by treaty as the weight to 
be used for levy of Customs duty, 21 J ounces avoirdupois, as 
stipulated by the British treaty, 604-53 grammes as stipu- 
lated by the French treaty, the two differing by 0-4 grammes 


or 6 grains. This is a purely arbitrary standard imposed 
by, or on, the foreign merchant, and accepted because it 
was a round figure approximating closely to the merchants' 
standard prevailing at Canton, actually weighing 2121 
ounces avoirdupois, with which the English trader first came 
in touch, and which a hundred years ago he used in buying 
his tea and silk. At Canton and in its vicinity there are 
other standards, by which the catty ranges from 19*68 
to 22*06 ounces. In the trade area of Shanghai there is a 
standard for the use of Chinese in their foreign dealings 
by which the catty is 20*4 ounces, while the regular guild 
catty is 18 *6 ounces ; the Soochow guild catty is 197 
ounces, that for rice paid as Imperial tribute is 20*6 ounces, 
while that for the sale of oil is 23*2 ounces and for sugar 
is 27*25 ounces. At Hangchow there are seventeen different 
standards, ranging from 16 to 24 ounces, all equally recog- 
nised in their respective trades ; and throughout the 
Empire catties are known, ranging from 12 to 42*5 ounces. 

The Chinese table of capacity gives sixteen decimal divi- 
sions, down tO 1 , 000 , 000 ,ooo, th P art > of the shih I those 
in common use are the tow (^), sheng (^), and ko (^). 
Measures of capacity are seldom used except for rice and 
grain, and these are ordinarily sold wholesale by weight ; 
fluids, such as oil, spirits, molasses, etc., are almost in- 
variably sold by weight. Grain tribute is assessed on the 
tax note by measures of capacity, but is generally collected 
by weight at a rate of conversion fixed by the collectors, 
when it is not collected in money at rates also fixed by the 
collectors. The tow (which we may call peck) for tribute 
contains 629 cubic inches (10*31 litres), but in different 
parts of the Empire different standards of tow exist ranging 
from 176 all the way to 1,800 cubic inches. 


The table of length is divided decimally down to the 
j-~^th part of a foot, and goes up to 10 feet — 1 chang. 


The foreign merchant knows as the unit of length the chih, 
commonly called " foot," imposed by treaty, accepted by 
the Customs, and measuring 14*1 English inches ; this finds 
no exact counterpart at Canton, where the carpenter's 
foot is 13*8 inches and the tailor's foot is 14-8 inches. 
Land is sometimes measured by a special standard, but 
usually throughout China by the carpenter's foot : Canton 
is divided into two magistracies (hsien) by a line running 
through the middle of the city ; on the west of this line, 
land is measured by a foot of 147 inches, and on the east by 
a foot of 14*8 inches, which is the tailor's foot of Canton. 
At Shanghai the tailor's foot is 13*85 inches and the car- 
penter's foot is in inches ; the official land foot is 12 *i 
inches, but the foot in ordinary use for transfers of land is 
13*2 inches. At Nanking the carpenter's foot is 12 *6 inches, 
but the foot for measurement of timber is 13-5 inches. At 
Soochow the tailor's foot is 13*45 inches, but that used for 
the measurement of cloth is 11 *i inches. At Shiuhing 
carpenters use a foot of 14 inches, but masons working on 
the same building use a foot of 13*6 inches, and flooring 
tiles are made by a foot of in inches. These instances of 
inconsistency might be amplified indefinitely ; suffice it 
to say that in China local standards of the foot range from 
8*6 to 27*8 inches. 


The Chinese do not much trouble themselves with the 
accurate measurement of distance, and would sympathise 
fully with the Dutch measurement of canal boat-runs by 
the number of pipes smoked. A theoretic unit exists, the 
li, measuring 1,800 of the land foot ; but, as the latter 
varies throughout the Empire, so would the li vary, if any 
one cared to measure it. Based on a foot of 14*1 English 
inches it would measure 705 yards, or four-tenths of a 
statute mile. In practice it is one-hundredth of the distance 
a laden porter will cover in a day of ten hours marching ; 
on the plain this would represent a third of a mile, a half- 
kilometre, more or less, but in hilly country it varies con- 


siderably. By Chinese reckoning, if it is 50 li to the top of 
Mount Washington, returning by the same road to the same 
point the distance may be 25 li ; and similarly a mountain 
may be spoken of as 100 miles high— by road. 


The table of area is purely decimal, the unit, the mow, 
being divided down to the ~^th part; 100 mow 
make a ching. In the calculation of the mow occurs the 
second of the two departures from the decimal system in 
China : it is 240 square " paces " or " bows," each bow 
being 5 feet long, and is therefore 6,000 square land feet ; 
but as the land foot varies, so does the mow vary. The 
" customary " mow at Shanghai is exactly one-sixth of an 
English acre (7,260 square feet, English) ; but thoughout 
the Empire the mow varies from 3,840 to 9,964, with one 
standard of 18,148 English square feet. 

To give further details of all the vagaries of the measures 
of China would take a volume, but enough has been written 
to indicate in some degree the variability of what are held 
to be standards, and the mental attitude of those on whom 
it is sought to impose uniformity. The example of other 
countries may be cited, where order has been evolved from 
chaos and uniformity from diversity, but it must be re- 
membered that China is not one country, it is a dozen ; it 
is a continent, with the population and the diversity of a 
continent, with the inborn habit of centuries to stereotype 
the minds of the people, and with the natural stubbornness 
of an old civilisation to resist all change. 



The privilege of extraterritoriality was thirty years ago, 
and even less, more commonly referred to as exterritoriality. 
Of these terms Mr. Piggott * says : — 

" The words ' exterritoriality ' and ' extraterritori- 
ality ' are treated by some writers as identical ; by 
others as indicating, the first the privilege of Am- 
bassadors and their suites, the second the Treaty 
privilege under which Consular jurisdiction has been 
established in the East. Both these privileges are, 
however, more correctly described as ' exterritorial ' ; 
the condition of those to whom they are accorded as 
* exterritoriality.' On the other hand the government 
of the privileged persons by their own authorities from 
home is ' extraterritorial. ' " 
Notwithstanding this dictum the orotund forms 
extraterritorial-ity-ised have prevailed and are now applied 
to governors and governed alike. This chapter is intended 
to explain how the exceptional privilege originated, and the 
manner of its working. 

In the earliest times the traveller was protected by no 
law ; the Tyrian voyager along the coasts of the Mediter- 
ranean secured only such rights as he could buy or enforce, 
but he neither carried with him his own law nor was he 
entitled to claim the protection of the law of those among 
whom he sojourned. With the extension of the Roman do- 
minion the pax Romana spread, and every citizen travelling 
was under the aegis of the jus Romanum ; the principle 

* "Exterritoriality," by F. T. Piggott, 1892. 


established was that the Roman elsewhere than in Rome was 
extraterritorialised— he was not required to submit to the 
territorial laws of the " foreign " country, but remained 
outside them and continued to enjoy the protection of his 
own laws. As an echo of this privilege we find that in the 
Constitution of a.d. 824 imposed upon the people of Rome 
by Lothair, acting as vicegerent for his father, Lewis the 
Pious, each inhabitant of the city was required to choose the 
code— Roman, Frankish, or Lombard— by which he wished 
to live, and was then judged according to the law selected. 
The underlying principle is obvious. It was recognised as 
inequitable that, for example, the Frank, who was entitled 
by his native law to compound for a homicide by payment 
of weregeld, should by the accident of residence in what, 
though the capital of the empire, was still to him a foreign 
city, be compelled to submit to what would appear to him 
the cruel and vindictive penalty of death ; and while he 
wished to preserve for himself his own law, he did not wish 
to impose it on the Roman people or on the Lombards who 
less than a century before had been masters of the city. 
The Frank in Rome was fully extraterritorialised, but of 
Rome the Frank was titular sovereign. 

When the West first met the East on equal terms at 
shorter range than a lance's length, it was found that their 
laws were incompatible : that no Venetian or Genoese, the 
pioneers in commerce in those days, would willingly or could 
in reason be expected to submit himself to Moslem law, 
based on the stern requirements of the Koran ; and that no 
follower of the Prophet could yield obedience to a code 
whose leading exponent was the Pope. There was no 
thought of requiring either to conform to the law of the 
other ; as between one country of Europe and another the 
lex loci might be applied, but to assimilate the legal pro- 
cedure of two diverse civilisations was the mingling of oil 
and vinegar. The question was one-sided, since no Moslem 
ever strayed from the fold, and the Padishah settled it 
off-hand by bidding the Giaours judge, control, and 
protect their own nationals according to their own customs. 


While the trading states were weak and the Moslem power 
strong, the imperium in imperio thus created caused no more 
trouble than the old projection which the Roman citizen 
carried with him everywhere ; but in the course of years the 
Turkish realm lost its old-time force, the more powerfully 
organised nations 6i Europe entered the field, and the 
obligation of extraterritoriality became a right, claimed by 
all strong enough to enforce it, enjoyed by all in the comity 
of nations, and duly sanctioned by the Capitulations signed 
with each power. These are the Charter of extraterritori- 
ality in the Turkish Empire and in the states now or formerly 
vassal to it. 

At first the natural assumption was that the traveller 
carried his law with him, in so far as he was entitled to the 
protection of any law ; but by degrees } in the history of those 
countries whose government is based on law and not on 
the will of the governors, law became paramount, and the 
law of the locality was never set aside to pleasure a chance 
visitor. This is now the rule, the Capitulations in Turkey 
being merely survivals of the middle ages. When the 
European first came to the Far East, he had no thought 
that he was entitled to carry his law with him, and sub- 
mission to the lex loci was merely an incident in his ad- 
venturous career, duly provided for in his profit and loss 
account. The Black Hole of Calcutta was typical of the 
treatment of the English in India at the time, when once 
removed from the protection of the British flag ; the 
Portuguese in China enjoyed life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness only on condition of remaining safely in the 
tiny peninsula of Macao ; and the Dutch in Japan, cooped 
up in Desima, were allowed to monopolise a profitable 
trade, but were otherwise subject to the whims of the 
Japanese. At the opening of the nineteenth century the 
English and Americans resident in China were restricted 
to the " Factory " or trading post of Canton, privileged for 
exercise to walk a hundred paces in one direction and then 
a hundred paces in the other. They were in general well 
treated, since the trade so profitable to them was equally 



profitable to the Chinese, and were not molested so long 
as they were law-abiding, but law-abiding in the sense of 
abiding by the law of China. It was irksome to them to 
have no lawyer to instruct them in the law of the land, to 
have no fixed and certain law to appeal to, to be doubtful 
of the application of the law to any particular case, and to 
have no doubt whatever on the course likely to be followed 
by the administrators of the law ; but this was all an incident 
of their position, and the rapid accumulation of fortune 
enabled them to shake the dust of the country from their 
shoes after a very short stay. So the position was endured, 
and the lex loci submitted to, probably, from what we know 
of the English and American character, with many murmurs 
but without overt opposition. 

It is no part of my purpose to describe the state of the 
prisons of China or the methods by which testimony and 
confession are elicited, nor to demonstrate the insistent 
need to the Chinese people of the article in King John's 
Magna Charta, " To no freeman will we deny or sell justice." 
The incompatability of laws based on diverse civilisations 
is nowhere more marked than in China. There no bank- 
ruptcy law is possible : if a debtor's own estate will not 
suffice to pay his debts, the deficiency must be made good by 
his father, brothers, or uncles ; if a debtor absconds, his 
immediate family are promptly imprisoned ; if the debtor 
returns, he is put in prison and kept there indefinitely, so 
long as he can find money for his daily food, until released 
by payment in full or by death : this is the law. When 
in 1895 Admiral Ting found himself forced to surrender 
Weihaiwei and his fleet, he committed suicide ; by this 
courageous step, technically dying before surrender, he 
saved his immediate family — father, mother, sons, and 
daughters — from decapitation, and their property from 
confiscation, the penalty when a commander surrenders an 
Imperial fortress : this is the law. When in the old days 
an English gunner caused the death of a Chinese by firing 
a salute from a cannon from which, by oversight, the ball 
had not been removed, he was seized, tried, and executed ; 


and in 1839, when in the course of a disturbance with English 
and American sailors at Canton a Chinese was killed, the 
authorities demanded that, if the guilty person could not 
be detected and executed, the whole party should be handed 
over for execution : this is the law. Intention is never 
taken into account. A dollar for a dollar, an eye for an 
eye, a life for a life, and all for the Emperor and his repre- 
sentatives : this is the law of China. The feeling against 
continued submission to this law and to its arbitrary and 
inequitable application had been growing, and when the 
Chinese authorities committed an overt act of aggression 
in seizing and destroying the property of the English and 
American merchants at Canton, burning their " Factory/' 
in which alone, as in a Ghetto, they were permitted to 
reside, and forcibly expelling them from Chinese soil, the 
British took up the cudgels and the war of 1842 followed. 
The movable property destroyed consisted mainly of opium, 
and consequently the war is in common parlance called 
the " Opium War " ; this is an ill-chosen designation for 
the Americans as for the English, since, as the direct result 
of the war, the American Government secured a treaty con- 
taining even more favorable terms than the British treaty. 
In fact, the direct cause of the war was the growing sense of 
the need for better protection to life and property, though 
behind this was the ground cause of the need for better 
relations generally. In the words of Dr. Hawks Pott's 
" Sketch of Chinese History " — " The first war with China was 
but the beginning of a struggle between the extreme East 
and the West, the East refusing to treat on terms of equality, 
diplomatically or commercially, with Western nations, and 
the West insisting on its right to be so treated," As has 
been the rule from the outset, England bore the brunt of the 
battle in securing the rights of the West, and the privileges 
secured to her as the result of the war, became the heritage 
of all the Western powers coming later into the field. 
Equality of treatment was conceded in 1842 on paper, but 
the execution of the concession in practice left much to be 
desired, and friction continued. There were, of course, 


faults on both sides, as is always the case where a bold 
aggressive race comes, especially in matters of trade, in 
contact with a weaker race given to supplement its want of 
strength by methods of chicanery and indirectness ; but 
underlying everything were the demand for equality of 
treatment and extraterritorial rights on the one side, and 
on the other a stubborn disinclination to yield either. A 
second war became necessary in which the French joined 
hands with the English, and a second time America and 
other interested powers came in and secured treaties simul- 
taneous and identical with those signed by the British and 
French envoys. These treaties, signed independently by 
Great Britain, France, Russia, and the United States in 
1858, by Prussia and the North German Confederation in 
1 86 1, and by other powers in later years, are still the charter 
of liberty of the foreigner resident in China ; and in each of 
them, in addition to a " most favored nation " clause, is 
contained the stipulation of extraterritoriality. 

The earliest treaties with China were made by Russia, 
whose envoys came by the Siberian route, and whose 
colonists and armed forces were in constant conflict with 
the Manchus and the sons of Han on the long frontier of the 
Amur and in Central Asia. The earliest of these treaties, 
that of Nipchu (or Nerchinsk) signed in 1689, contains 
(Art. VI.) the following provision : — 

' c If hereafter any of the subjects of either nation pass 

the frontier and commit crimes of violence against 

property or life, they are at once to be arrested and 

sent to the frontier of their own country and handed 

over to the chief local authority, who will inflict on them 

the death penalty as a punishment of their crimes." 

The treaty of the Frontier (called also the treaty of 

Kiakhta, at which place the ratifications were exchanged) 

signed in 1727, contains (Art. X.) the following provision : — 

" Those who pass the frontier and steal camels or 

cattle shall be handed over to their natural judges 

(leurs juges naturels), who will condemn them to pay 

ten times, and for a second offence twenty times, 


the value of the property stolen ; for a third offence, 
they shall be punished by death/' 
The supplementary treaty of Kiakhta, signed in 1768, 
contained minute stipulations for the arrest and extradition 
of criminals, but includes this provision : — 

" The subjects of the Middle Kingdom (China) who 
shall have committed acts of brigandage shall be 
delivered, without distinction of persons, to the tribunal 
which governs the outer provinces and punished with 
death ; the subjects of the Oros (Russia) shall be 
delivered to their senate, to undergo the same penalty." 
Here then, from one to two centuries before the first of 
the treaties with any of the maritime powers, we have the 
principle of extraterritoriality accepted : the penalties are 
prescribed by negotiation between the two powers con- 
cerned, but the culprits are to be handed over to their 
own natural authorities — are to be judged and condemned 
according to the legal procedure of their native land. 

The British treaty of Nanking, signed in 1842, as the 
result of the war of that year, contained provisions for uni- 
formity of Customs duties and equality of treatment for 
British officials ; but the only reference to Consular jurisdic- 
tion is found in Art. II., to the effect that Consuls are 

"to be the medium of communication between the 
Chinese authorities and the said merchants, and to see 
that the just duties and other dues of the Chinese 
Government as hereafter provided for are duly dis- 
charged by Her Britannic Majesty's subjects." 
The supplementary treaty of Hoomunchai (1843) contains 
provisions for extradition, and annexed to it are some 
" General Regulations under which British trade is to be 
conducted at the five ports of Canton, Amoy, Foochow, 
Ningpo, and Shanghai " which had been published at Hong- 
kong by a proclamation issued on July 22, 1843, by Sir 
Henry Pottinger, Minister Plenipotentiary and Superintendent 
of Trade. Of these Regulations, No. XIII., after stipulating 
that " disputes shall be arranged amicably," i.e. by arbitra- 
tion, makes the following provision : — 


" Regarding the punishment of English criminals, 
the English Government will enact the laws necessary 
to attain that end, and the Consul will be empowered 
to put them in force ; and regarding the punishment of 
Chinese criminals, these will be tried and punished by 
their own laws, in the way provided for by the cor- 
respondence which took place at Nanking after the 
concluding of the peace." 
This regulation was in its form a concession to the 
Chinese, designed to control the unruly members of the 
crews of foreign ships. It was reserved for the United 
States of America, peacefully following on the sound of the 
British cannon, to step into the breach, and to express more 
clearly the one condition which renders it possible for 
American, English, German, or other merchants to enjoy in 
quiet the fruits of their trading activity or for their mission- 
aries to peacefully pursue their holy calling, subject to 
the laws of the land of their allegiance and not of the land 
of their sojourn. In the treaty of Wanghea, signed in 
July 1844, Art. XXI. reads as follows : — 

" Subjects of China who may be guilty of any 
criminal act towards citizens of the United States shall 
be arrested and punished by the Chinese authorities 
according to the laws of China, and citizens of the 
United States who may commit any crime in China 
shall be subject to be tried and punished only by the 
Consul or other public functionary of the United States 
thereto authorised according to the laws of the United 
States ; and in order to the prevention of all controversy 
and disaffection, justice shall be equitably and im- 
partially administered on both sides." 
The French treaty of Whampoa, signed in October 
1844, contained a similar provision that French subjects 
accused of any crime should be " livres a Taction reguliere 
des lois francaises," adding, however, an enunciation of the 
principle of extraterritoriality : — 

" II en sera de meme en toute circonstance analogue 
et non prevue dans la presente Convention, le principe 


etant que, pour la repression des crimes et delits commis 
par eux dans les cinq ports, les Francais seront con- 
st amment regis par la loi francaise." 
The underlying principle was more clearly expressed in 
the Chef 00 Convention (1876) between Great Britain and 
China, and again in the American Supplemental Treaty of 
Peking (1880) ; in the latter, Article IV. reads as follows : — ■ 
" When controversies arise in the Chinese Empire 
between citizens of the United States and subjects of 
His Imperial Majesty which need to be examined and 
decided by the public officers of the two nations, it 
is agreed between the Governments of the United States 
and China that such cases shall be tried by the proper 
official of the nationality of the defendant. The 
properly authorised official of the plaintiff's nationality 
shall be freely permitted to attend the trial, and shall 
be treated with the courtesy due to his position. He 
shall be granted all proper facilities for watching the 
proceedings in the interests of justice. If he so desires, 
he shall have the right to present, to examine, and to 
cross-examine witnesses. If he is dissatisfied with the 
proceedings, he shall be permitted to protest against 
them in detail. The law administered will be the law 
of the nationality of the officer trying the case." 
This is the principle adopted since that time in all 
treaty negotiations entered into with China by each one of 
the treaty powers, which, in the order of the dates of the 
first treaty with each, are Russia, Great Britain, the United 
States, France, Belgium, Sweden and Norway, Germany, 
Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Austria-Hungary, 
Japan, Peru, Brazil, Portugal, and Mexico. 

This is extraterritoriality, secured by two wars and by 
treaties with seventeen powers, each one of which must 
consent to its abrogation or modification. By it the 
foreigner resident in China is subject to no one provision of 
the law of China, either as to his person or to his property, 
but at all times and in all places is entitled to the protection 
of his own national law administered by his own national 


officials. There are no two voices as to the necessity for 
this right among those resident in China, and the right has 
been recognised by the various Governments as supplying 
the one condition under which their nationals can remain 
in that country. We have now to consider the application 
of this right by, and to, the Consul, the merchant, and the 
missionary ; and, as different national laws, regulations, 
and customs cannot be treated on one common footing, the 
application of extraterritoriality to the American will be 
taken as typical of all. 

The Consul 

We all know, or think we know, the ordinary functions 
of the ordinary Consul. Practically they may be reduced 
to three. He is the commercial agent of his government, 
and in that capacity must study the commercial possibilities 
for American traders and manufacturers in the country to 
which he is accredited, and inform the nation by the reports 
which he writes. He is a notary public, certifying invoices 
for the U.S. Customs, and attesting documents signed 
before him for use in the United States. Finally he is the 
adviser to Americans sojourning abroad, supplementing 
their ignorance of foreign laws and customs, and indicating 
to them the means by which they may be in the position, 
as to knowledge, which they would occupy in their own 
country. Coming to China we find the Consul performing 
these functions, and many more besides, all of which add 
to his cares and his responsibilities. 

First, by the direct action of the principle of extraterri- 
toriality, he is a police magistrate to try offences com- 
mitted by American citizens, civil judge for suits brought 
against Americans by Chinese, by other Americans, or by 
foreigners of other nationalities, and criminal judge for more 
serious crimes committed by Americans, even up to murder 
in the first degree. He is also coroner, probate judge, and 
registrar of deeds.* From his decisions appeal is difficult. 
His judgment may be reviewed by the U.S. Minister at 
* See Appendix B. 


Peking, but this is in no sense a re-trial ; and in certain 
cases an appeal may be taken to the U.S. Circuit Court of 
California, six thousand miles away. His position is the 
more difficult from the fact that he has to administer, not 
the law of Massachusetts or of New York, or even of Cali- 
fornia, the nearest state, but " American law," and this 
generally without the aid of trained lawyers ; he must 
administer the common law unelucidated by any statutes, 
and must often give judgments which Solomon would have 
envied. Besides American law he must have a sufficient 
knowledge of the lex loci, as in the case of a land suit to 
which an American is defendant, and instances have been 
known when his judgment has depended upon the right 
interpretation of the tenets of the Buddhist religion. With 
all this complexity he has still another element of difficulty : 
his instructions from the State Department require him 
first to bring two suitors to common terms of settlement, 
and having attempted this without giving one party a clue 
to the case of the other, and having failed, he must then erase 
from his mind all he has learned in the matter and go on the 
bench to sit as judge.* 

Besides requiring him to act as judge, the extraterri- 
torialised position of the foreigner in China places on the 
Consul's shoulders still another burden of responsibility. 
Beyond the protection of American law, the American in 
China is safeguarded by the stipulations of the treaties. 
These specify, to select a few among the many instances, 
that Customs duties shall be uniform, that inland transit 
dues (akin to octroi) may be compounded, that Americans 
may freely rent or charter houses, boats, etc., that they shall 
not be prevented from preaching the gospel, that the U.S. 

* The opening on January 2, 1907, of a United States District 
Court for China will remove cases of a certain class from the Consul's 
jurisdiction, and to this extent will modify what has been said in this 
paragraph ; but this description still applies, more or less exactly, 
to the Consuls of other powers, such as France,' Germany, etc. Only 
Great Britain and the United States have thought it necessary to 
establish separate courts. 


Minister may freely and safely reside in Peking. While 
sitting as judge when an American is defendant, when an 
American has a plaint against a Chinese defendant, the 
Consul is by law the official advocate in the case (a position 
presenting some embarrassment in cross suits) ; when the 
plaint is against the Chinese Government, the Consul is the 
more necessarily an advocate from the need of interpreting 
and applying the stipulations of the treaties — not only 
of the American treaties, but, under the " most favored 
nation " clause, of all the treaties made with China. This 
makes of him a diplomatic representative, not merely a 
representative of the Minister at Peking, but of the State 
Department at Washington ; and in this capacity he has 
to present arguments and bring pressure to bear on the 
Chinese officials to an extent not sanctioned by procedure 
in European countries. 

In cases of riot and disturbance in a country of weak 
government, the foreign military and naval forces must be 
called in to give due protection to their nationals. The 
Consul is the natural diplomatic intermediary with the 
Chinese officials, and all representations, by way of per- 
suasion or of ultimatum, must pass through him. It is for 
him alone to judge when the toga must yield to arms ; and, 
added to all his other responsibilities, he is the resident civil 
authority in control of the armed forces of his own country. 

By virtue of extraterritoriality direct action against 
a foreigner's person or estate can only be taken through his 
own Consul, and in the case of an arrest for contravention 
of municipal regulations it is by him that the prisoner must 
be tried. The foreign communities are little self-governing 
and self- taxing republics, each in its square mile or two of 
territory, but even against their own members those com- 
munities cannot act through their own courts, which do 
not exist. If the municipal police arrest gamblers, let us 
say, among whom are men of six different nationalities, 
plaint must be made before six different Consular courts, 
with, incidentally, the result that one culprit may be fined 
a dollar and another a hundred dollars on the same day for 


the same offence. The Municipal Council governing such a 
community is subject to no legally constituted tribunal, 
since none such exists of competent jurisdiction ; and, 
being after all only a body of private gentlemen of many 
nationalities with no official status, can only communicate 
with the Chinese officials, with whom they have constant 
and important dealings, through " their own " Consuls. To 
meet these varying needs of the regularly constituted 
governing body of these little republics, the Consuls take 
united action, holding deliberative meetings for that purpose, 
and act by the voice and pen of the " Senior Consul " — the 
Consul longest in residence ; and they appoint certain of 
their number to constitute a Consular Court, a tribunal 
before which the Municipal Council may be sued.* This 
gives the Consul an important part in the municipal control 
not only of his own nationals, but of all foreigners in the 

The Merchant 

The position of the merchant in the days of the old trade 
has been indicated in this chapter, and is further described 
in Chapter IX. ; and in giving some details of his excep- 
tional position under extraterritoriality, it is necessary 
from point to point to contrast it with what would be his 
normal condition. 

On the entry of a ship in the ante-treaty days she became 
a chattel in the hands of the Chinese authorities and of 
monopolists licensed by them, and was the subject of " milk- 
ing " limited in amount only by what the trade could stand. 
The sums extracted were not all capable of being put into 
a detailed statement, but one authentic official account 
(given in Chapter IX.) shows that to the constituted authori- 
ties one ship, which for the same charges would to-day pay 
£25, paid what was then equivalent to £900. To-day a 
ship's papers are deposited with her Consul, and the Chinese 

* Jurisdiction over the municipality of a " Concession " is in 
the hands of the Consul of the controlling power, as explained in 
Chapter VIII. 


authorities can exercise control only through him, while all 
attendance and supplies may be obtained in the open market. 

The cargo could formerly be sold only to licensed monopo- 
list dealers, while now an importer may find his own buyers 
and make his own terms ; and for exports the same monopoly 
has been exchanged for the same freedom. 

The merchant formerly lived and stored his goods in 
the Factory, in which he was the tenant and guest of the 
monopolists who alone could buy his imports and sell him 
his exports, and which he could not leave even to inquire 
the market prices of commodities. Now he is privileged 
to rent or build his own premises, subject only to the con- 
dition that they shall be at one of the treaty ports, now 
forty in number, and usually within a circumscribed area at 
those ports ; but in any case he now has free access, without 
intermediaries, to his ships and to his market. 

Formerly the merchant had no knowledge of the amount 
of taxation levied, inwards and outwards, on his goods, but 
it was none the lighter for that. Now the tax is strictly 
limited to the rates, based on a uniform 5 per cent, levy, 
specified in a revenue (non-protective) tariff, which forms 
an integral part of the treaty under which he lives and 
trades. From the inland taxation, too, which presses so 
heavily on Chinese traders who are subject to the levy of 
likin, his goods are exempted by payment of " transit dues " 
not exceeding a nominal 2-J- per cent . ad valorem. 

No Chinese authority has a right to claim any municipal 
taxes from foreign premises ; and within the " areas reserved 
for foreign residence and trade," all taxes levied are solely 
for the benefit of such reserved area. The foreign resident 
is equally free from the incidence of benevolences, or from 
the necessity of contributing to public charitable and patri- 
otic funds, or from inducement to buy official honors and 
titles, to all which the Chinese merchant is liable. 

No capitation fee may be imposed, or right of deporta- 
tion exercised on foreigners by the Chinese officials, as was 
the case in the old days. 

No foreign merchant is now liable for any but his own 


criminal offences, and for those with which he may be "charged 
he is judged according to the provisions of his own laws. 

In civil cases he is held accountable for the requirements 
of the commercial code of his own country ; and in suits 
against Chinese he is aided by the advocacy of his own 
official representative, the Consul. 

Finally, in at least ten of the treaty ports, the foreign 
merchants collectively are privileged to form their own 
municipal government, subject only to the oversight of the 
Consuls, to tax themselves and administer the proceeds of 
the taxes, to construct their own roads, and to control their 
own measures of police and sanitation. 

Others could be added, but these constitute a formidable 
list of exceptional privileges, enjoyed by the foreigner and 
denied to the Chinese. It is no part of my purpose to 
inquire if these privileges are equitable or not ; it is enough 
to say that they will be maintained so long as foreign nations 
are strong enough to insist on their maintenance. Protec- 
tion is thus given to foreigners in their daily business such 
as Chinese do not enjoy ; and it would be unreasonable to 
expect that no foreigner would be found ready, for a con- 
sideration, to lend a corner of his flag to cover the nakedness 
of the poor Chinaman. Among the foreigners resident in 
China there is the same proportion of good, bad, and indifferent 
as among the same class in the home lands, and the mal- 
practice is common ; but while the abuse of the flag provides 
a decent income to many among them, it causes great injury 
to the legitimate commerce of the countries from which 
they come, and disorganises the methods of administration, 
right or wrong, just or unjust, of the land in which they 
live. Because an American can take certain goods from 
one place to another for a hundred dollars in taxes, while it 
would cost a Chinese twice that sum, provides no reason good 
in the eyes of the American nation, the American manu- 
facturer, or the legitimate American trader, why the Chinese 
should be allowed to save half his outgo by the misuse of the 
American flag ; the differential taxation is a matter between 
the Chinaman and his own Government and is no concern 


of the American nation, and yet, if an American has lent 
his name to the transaction, the American Consul is bound 
to intervene to protect the Chinaman's goods. This is only 
one example of many in which extraterritoriality is abused 
to give to Chinese a protection from their own officials to 
which they could otherwise lay no claim. Instances have 
been known where a foreigner with no capital — not a penny — 
opened branch firms in several places and ran steamers in 
his name and under his flag, but had no share in the working 
of the business and was never heard of, except when it 
became necessary to call a case out of the Chinese magis- 
trate's yamen to the foreign Consular court. In one 
instance a small steamer was transferred within a few 
months first to the British, then to the French, then to the 
American, then to the Italian flag, in order to keep her out 
of the Chinese court to which both the claimants to her 
ownership were subject ; the transfers were frequent because 
the case was too notorious to be upheld even by the lax 
methods of China, but the legal machinery was there and 
was used. Each power professes to wish to stop these 
abuses, but nothing can be done except by unanimous con- 
sent of all the seventeen treaty powers ; one recalcitrant 
power would provide for its nationals a rich harvest from 
the traffic denied to other foreigners ; and it is unlikely 
that anything will be done, unless the great commercial 
nations take the matter in hand and decide it by themselves. 

The Missionary 

While the merchant may live at the treaty port, and 
even within the reserved area at the port, and find his cus- 
tomers come to him readily, provided the wares he offers 
are wanted, the missionary must go to the people and offer 
them his evangel : they will not hunt him up. To reach 
their hearts, he must go into the highways and byways to 
preach the gospel ; and to shut him up in the treaty port is 
to neutralise all the facilities for his work which have been 
secured by treaty. China is no exception to the rule that 
the heathen are quite content with their existing religious 


state, and have no desire for a " new religion " ; and the 
history of missionary work in this country is as much marked 
by the martyrdom of the saints, allowance being made for 
the general ethical progress of the world, as ever in any 
country in which the Cross has been advanced. The 
Chinese Government has never for long actively encouraged 
the Christian propaganda. St. Francis Xavier, the proto- 
missionary, was denied access to the mainland, and died in 
1552 on its threshold, on the island now called St. John. 
Matteo Ricci first arrived at Nanking in 1595, but secured 
the right of living in the city only after four years more. 

Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary, was for 
some years unable even to obtain a teacher from the 
bigotedly conservative literati, and finally secured the in- 
struction he desired by virtue of his connection, as inter- 
preter, with the East India Company, and even then by 
stealth. The Russian orthodox religion was, however, 
protected from the first, for the reason that little or no 
attempt has ever been made to proselytise. The treaty of 
1727 provided for the maintenance in Peking of four priests 
of the Orthodox Church, and of six others, students of the 
language ; this, be it observed, during the continuance 
of the great persecution of the Roman Catholics, begun 
by Kanghi (1662-1723), and continued by Yungcheng 
(1723-1735). The treaty of 1851 provided that the Chinese 
Government would interpose no obstacle to " Russian sub- 
jects celebrating in their factories divine service according 
to the ritual of their own religion " ; and the Russian treaty 
of Tientsin, 1858, granted facilities to "la mission ecclesi- 
astique russe." 

The first reference to missionaries, otherwise than as 
citizens of their respective states, in the treaties of other 
powers was in those of 1858. The British and American 
were almost identical, Article XXIX. of the American 
treaty being as follows : — 

"The principles of the Christian religion, as pro- 
fessed by the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches, 
are recognised as teaching men to do good, and to do 


to others as they would have others do to them. 
Hereafter, those who quietly profess and teach these 
doctrines shall not be harassed or persecuted on ac- 
count of their faith. Any persons, whether citizens 
of the United States or Chinese converts, who accord- 
ing to these tenets peaceably teach and practise the 
principles of Christianity shall in no case be interfered 
with or molested." 
To the French the question was more material. That 
Government had for centuries been recognised as protector 
of all Roman Catholic missions in the Orient, and its prin- 
cipal casus belli was the murder of the missionary Auguste 
Chapdelaine in Kwangsi ; and Article XIII. of the French 
treaty was as follows : — 

" La religion Chretienne ayant pour objet essentiel 
de porter les hommes a la vertu, les membres de 
toutes les communions Chretiennes jouiront d'une 
entiere securite pour leurs personnes, leurs proprietes 
et le libre exercice de leurs pratiques religieuses, et une 
protection efficace sera donnee aux missionnaires qui 
se rendront pacifiquement dans l'interieur du pays, 
munis des passeports reguliers donts il est parle dans 
T Article huit. Aucune entrave ne sera apportee par 
les autorites de l'Empire chinois au droit qui est 
reconnu a tout individu en Chine d'embrasser, s'il le 
veut, le Christianisme et d'en suivre les pratiques sans 
etre passible d'aucune peine infligee pour ce fait. 

" Tout ce qui a ete precedemment ecrit, proclame ou 

publie en Chine par ordre du Gouvernement contrele 

culte Chretien est completement abroge et reste sans 

valeur dans toutes les provinces de rEmpire." 

When the allied forces reached Peking and had again 

to impose terms on the Chinese Government, Article VI. of 

the French Convention of Peking, i860, stipulated as 

follows : — 

" Conformement a Fedit imperial rendu le vingt 
mars mil huit cent quarante-six par l'auguste Empereur 
Tao-Kouang, les etablissements religieux et de bien- 


faisance qui ont ete confisques aux Chretiens pendant 

les persecutions dont ils ont ete les victimes seront 

rendus a leurs proprietaries par l'entremise du Ministre 

de France en Chine, auquel le Gouvernement Imperial 

les fera delivrer avec les cimetieres et les autres edifices 

qui en dependaient." 

To the Chinese, but not to the French, text of this article 

was added, surreptitiously as the Chinese Government has 

always declared, the following clause : — 

" And it shall be lawful for French missionaries in 

any of the provinces to lease or buy land and build 


As cognate to the same subject, it will be well to give 

here for reference the much debated wording of Article XII. 

of the British treaty of 1858 : — 

" British subjects, whether at the Ports or at other 
places, desiring to build or open Houses, Warehouses, 
Churches, Hospitals, or Burial-grounds, shall make 
their agreement for the land or buildings they require, 
at the rates prevailing among the people, equitably and 
without exaction on either side." 
There are two points which have been raised in connec- 
tion with missionary work under the treaties — the right of 
residence in the interior, and the protection to be accorded 
to converts. 

The right of residence in the interior depends upon the 
application to a pre-existing practice of a liberal interpreta- 
tion of the treaty provisions given above. When the Roman 
Catholic missionaries entered on the mission field in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there were no treaty 
ports, and, except later at Canton, no place at which 
foreigners were privileged to reside, and they spread over 
the Empire wherever they found a centre suitable for their 
propaganda. When the Emperor Kanghi, confronted by 
the infallible decision of the Pope, contrary to his own, on 
the correct rendering into Chinese of the name of the Deity, 
decreed the exclusion from his dominions of this alien power, 
he peremptorily expelled all teachers of the gospel and 



closed their churches, and this policy was continued by his 
successor Yungcheng ; in the Liangkiang viceroyalty alone 
a hundred prosperous churches were so closed, and even in 
the extreme west, in Szechwan, there were churches not 
a few. Upon the resumption of a policy of toleration the 
pastors returned to their flocks, and the nineteenth century 
again found them in every province of the Empire. The 
edict of the Emperor Taokwang in 1846 restored to the 
missions all the property of which they had been deprived 
" during the persecutions " ; and, even without the inter- 
polated clause, the year i860 found the Roman Catholic 
missions owning and occupying, by right, churches and 
houses at important centres in all parts of the Empire. 
Apart from special treaty privilege, they have had a right of 
user, dating back three centuries with interruptions, and 
uninterrupted, except by massacre and arson, for over 
seventy years ; this right was confirmed by treaty forty- 
seven years ago, and upon this right, sanctioned by accept- 
ance for that period and strengthened by the interpolated 
clause, is based the further right to acquire new property, 
now secured by the later commercial treaties, the British 
of 1902 and the American of 1903. 

What is permitted to one nation is ipso facto granted in 
China to all nations, the privileges of one Church may be 
claimed by other Churches, and what is conceded to the 
Roman Church becomes at once the right of the Protestant 
Churches of Great Britain and America. The earlier Pro- 
testant missionaries clung to the ports ; but, compelled to 
seek their hearers, they went into the Chinese cities and the 
densely populated suburbs, away from the " areas reserved 
for foreign residence," and in principle as much in " the in- 
terior " as places a hundred miles away. When the foreign 
Legations were established at Peking, the Protestant mis- 
sionaries accompanied them, and joined the Roman Catholics 
who had been there for three centuries, in what was not 
then and is not now a treaty port ; and in the sixties and 
seventies they too spread over the country, wherever they 
could find men to listen to their words. But besides the 


prescriptive right derived through the Roman Catholic 
missions, they claimed under Article XII. of the British 
treaty, given above, by the terms of which they were per- 
mitted to own property " whether at the ports or at other 
places " ; it was not intended by the negotiators on either 
side that the right of residence in the interior should be 
granted by these words, but, strictly interpreted, they cer- 
tainly carry on the rights claimed and continued by their 
Roman Catholic colleagues. 

Of German missions there are both Protestant and 
Catholic, though neither are numerous, but they attract 
attention because of the terms of the German treaty of 1861, 
of which Article X. reads as follows : — 

" Die Bekenner und Lehrer der christlichen Religion 
sollen in China voile Sicherheit fur ihre Personen, 
ihr Eigenthum und die Ausubung ihrer Religions- 
Gebrauche geniessen." 
Thus to Germany, and therefore to all nations, by this 
curt clause is guaranteed full security to the persons and 
property of missionaries and their converts ; and this brings 
us to the second debated question in connection with mis- 
sionaries, the degree of protection to be accorded to Chinese 
subjects who have become Christians.* 

The German treaty, in its brevity, seems to remove the 
convert from the jurisdiction of his own laws and to extra- 
territorialise him ; but is it for a moment to be supposed 
that this was the intention of the negotiators, even on the 
German side ? The convert remains a Chinese subject, and 
is under the jurisdiction of his own laws and entitled to such 
justice as they will give him, as much after his conversion 
as before, subject only to the proviso that he shall not be 
persecuted because of his faith ; and in this respect the 
same right of user cannot be claimed as in the case of mission 
property and residence in the interior, since the Chinese 
Government has always, even in the time of its greatest 
weakness, resisted the idea that its subjects could change 
their status. With the reservation of the case of persecu- 
* See Appendix C. 


tion, most missionaries, certainly most Protestant mission- 
aries, generally accept this position ; but they cannot 
always be trusted to temper zeal with discretion and to 
distinguish what is right from what is lawful. In this lies 
an element of danger to the missionary and to his cause. 
Not only in the treaty ports, the sole authorised places for 
foreign trade, is the Westerner covered by his extraterri- 
torialised position, but in every corner of this vast Empire 
in which he may put his foot. When the missionary far in 
the interior, many miles from the observing eyes of his 
Consul, transfers a corner of his protecting cloak to his poor 
Chinese convert, he may be doing what is right, but it is 
not lawful ; and this is the naked fact underlying many an 
episode leading to a riot. You cannot eradicate from a 
missionary's mind the belief that a convert is entitled to 
justice of a quality superior to that doled out to his un- 
converted brother : it could not be got out of your mind, or 
out of mine, in a similar case. None of us could endure that 
a protege of ours should be haled away to a filthy prison for 
a debt he did not owe, and kept there until he had satisfied, 
not perhaps the fictitious creditor, but at least his custodians 
who were responsible for his safe keeping. The case is 
particularly hard when the claim is not for a debt, but for 
a contribution to the upkeep of the village temple — the 
throne of heathendom — or of the recurring friendly village 
feasts held in connection with the temple — counterparts of 
Fast Day and Thanksgiving ; and when conversion drives 
its subject to break off all his family ties by refusing to con- 
tribute to the maintenance of family ancestral worship and 
the ancestral shrine, the hardship is felt on all sides — b)' the 
missionary, who cannot decline to support his weaker 
brother in his struggle against the snares of the devil ; by the 
convert, who is divided between his allegiance to his new 
faith and the old beliefs which made all that was holy in his 
former life ; by the family, who not only regard their recreant 
member as an apostate but are also compelled to maintain 
the old worship with reduced assessments from reduced 
numbers; and by the people and governors of the land, who 


may find in such a situation a spark to initiate a great con- 
flagration. No missionary, none of ourselves, could refuse 
his support in such a case ; and yet few missionaries con- 
sider that the support should be given : almost to a man 
they think that they must regard, in such matters, what is 
lawful and not necessarily what is right ; and almost to a 
man it is always " the other fellow " who does these things. 
With all this self-abnegation, direct interference and direct 
representations to the judges of the land, in cases of " re- 
ligious persecution," in suits for debt, in land suits, and even 
in criminal cases, are only too common ; and in some parts of 
the country, notably in Chekiang, Catholic and Protestant 
converts frequently engage in clan fights, while the mis- 
sionaries on either side charge those on the other with 
fomenting the trouble and with enlisting the aid of the 
officials to support their side.* The strength of a chain is 
that of its weakest link, and the rights of the missionary in 
the interior may some day have to be tested, not by the con- 
duct of the decent majority, but by that of an aggressive 
minority bent, for one reason or another, on extending their 
own extraordinary rights to Chinese converts, who other- 
wise must share such justice as is meted out to their fellow- 

There are, however, two sides to this question. There 
are numerous cases, susceptible of proof to the man on the 
spot but of which it would be difficult to carry conviction 
to the minds of those at a distance, where the missionary 
undoubtedly intervenes to make capital for his mission, and 
to secure for his followers some tangible advantage from 
their acceptance of his propaganda. At the other extremity 
there is the manifest tendency, clearly recognised by all, 
even the most impartial, but quite incapable of legal demon- 
stration, for the judges of the land, in cases where the right 
is not obviously on one side or the other, to decide ex motu 
suo against the convert ; ostensibly such decisions are given 
on as goodyegal grounds as any case in China is ever de- 
cided, butfpractically the underlying reason is the convert's 
* See Appendix D. 


religion — not the judge's antipathy to the religion itself, but 
his ingrained feeling that the convert has become less Chinese 
than the non-convert, that he has received that foreign taint 
which, in 1900, sent missionary and convert alike to one 
common sacrifice on the altar of nationalism. When cases 
fall under one or other of these extremes, and either the 
proof is forthcoming or the decision has to be taken by one 
capable of feeling where lies the right and where the wrong, 
there can be no question on the course to be followed. The 
great majority of cases, however, are such as to be insus- 
ceptible of proof, or fall into the wide field between these 
two extremes ; and in them the missionary must be held 
bound to exercise the greatest discrimination, in the in- 
terests of his mission work, of his own national government, 
and, not least, of his converts themselves. 

Mixed Courts 

The law applicable to Mixed Courts in China at the 
present day is that prescribed by the Chefoo Convention of 
1876 with Great Britain, and in Article IV. of the American 
treaty of 1880, given above, but they merely regularised 
what had been the practice since foreign nations undertook 
the task of enforcing justice on and for their nationals. 
There is not anywhere a special tribunal, as in Egypt, for 
the trial of all mixed cases ; but the court is, in each in- 
stance, a court of the defendant's nationality, giving its 
decision under the supervision of a competent representa- 
tive of the plaintiff's nationality. This is the theory. In 
practice the Chinese have seldom sent representatives to 
sit on the bench in the foreign courts, since it has generally 
been recognised that the judgments rendered there are based 
on the law and the evidence ; on the other hand, the foreign 
powers have never felt the'same confidence in Chinese de- 
cisions, and no suit is brought in China by a foreign plaintiff 
against a Chinese defendant and left to the sole decision of 
the Chinese judge, without the presence of an assessor of 
the plaintiff's nationality or acceptable to him. 


In a " concession," such as those at Tientsin, Hankow, 
or Canton, this Chinese court for mixed cases sits at the 
Consulate of the lessee power, and the assessor is invariably 
the Consul of that power or his representative, irrespective 
of the actual nationality of the plaintiff. To allow any 
other assessor would admit an imperium in imperio, sub- 
sidiary to the foreign imperium already interjected into the 
Chinese imperium ; besides, as Chinese, other than employe's 
of the foreign residents, are not permitted to live on the 
" concession " of the old type, the cases appearing before 
such a court are generally only police cases, and defendants 
in civil suits must ordinarily be sought on Chinese soil. 

Shanghai has a problem all its own. There, living 
within common municipal limits, and those the limits of the 
" area reserved for foreign residence and trade," are (in 1905) 
12,328 treaty-power foreigners, and 535,500 Chinese, in 
addition to somewhat over 100,000 Chinese living in the city 
or its suburbs under purely Chinese jurisdiction ; and legal 
action against one of the half-million Chinese is taken before 
the nineteenth of the courts of competent jurisdiction ex- 
isting in Shanghai. This Mixed Court is presided over by 
an official with the rank of Deputy Prefect (the present in- 
cumbent has lately received the substantive rank of Prefect) , 
with two Assistant Magistrates to relieve him. The foreign 
assessors are an essential part of this court, and are supplied 
in rotation by the American, British, and German Consulates ; 
when a person of other nationality than that of the sitting 
assessor appears as plaintiff or is interested in a police case, 
the case is remanded until an assessor of his own nationality 
can sit, either (if one of the three) in due rotation, or (if of 
another power) until an assessor can be supplied from his 
own Consulate. 

In criminal cases, in which by Chinese law the death 
penalty is, or might be, inflicted — such as homicide, rebellion, 
counterfeiting, rape, etc. — the proceedings take the form of 
a demand for extradition ; and, upon a prima facie case 
being made out, the defendant is remitted to the custody 
and judgment of the Shanghai city magistrate (Hsien), who, 


though of nominally lower rank than the President of the 
Mixed Court, is yet an Imperial representative, qualified to 
administer the criminal law of China. In criminal cases of 
lesser magnitude the judgment is rendered by the President 
of the Court, but subject to the approval of the foreign 
assessor sitting with him. This course is followed also in 
police cases for contravention of municipal regulations ; but 
as it is not required that these regulations should have the 
prior approval of the Chinese authorities, and as Occidental 
and Oriental ideas are not always in harmony in such 
matters as sanitation, nuisances, control of traffic, incidence 
of license fees, etc., there is here an opening for a judicial 
review of alien legislation which is not always lost, and it 
happens occasionally that the opinions of the judge and the 
assessor do not agree. 

Civil cases in China are commonly settled by guild 
action, and are seldom brought before the official tribunals, 
but the relative uniformity of justice secured by foreign 
supervision has caused a greater resort to the Shanghai 
Mixed Court. When the plaintiff is a foreigner, the ordinary 
course is followed, and the approval of the assessor is held 
necessary to the judgment of the court. Not infrequently 
it happens that a case with plaintiff and defendant both 
Chinese becomes a mixed case by the interjection of a 
foreigner into the plaintiff's claim ; the Chinese authorities 
have always tried to distinguish these pseudo claims, but 
it is generally held that on them lies the onus of proof of 
non-interest, not an easy thing to prove. These cases then 
generally follow the usual course, unless it can be definitely 
proved that the foreign interest was introduced at the 
eleventh hour in order to divert the course of justice. 

Suits which are admittedly between Chinese on both 
sides are a bone of contention. One side maintains that, 
being purely Chinese, they are no concern of the foreign 
powers, and are therefore not subject to the decision of the 
foreign assessor ; the other side holds that every judicial 
question arising within the " area reserved for foreign resi- 
dence and trade " concerns the foreign powers, and that the 


foreign assessor of the day is bound to exercise an oversight. 
On both sides it is felt, but not generally admitted, that 
there is some reason in the contention of the other ; and the 
assessor is generally passive unless there are evidences of 
extortion and flagrant injustice, while the magistrate gene- 
rally puts himself into agreement with the assessor when a 
municipal regulation comes into the case, neither being too 
desirous of crystallising the differences and precipitating a 
conflict. Occasionally, however, when the incompatibility 
of view cannot be compromised, a sharply defined issue is 

The Chinese official view is unimpeachable ; appeal is 
made to the letter of the treaty stipulations granting to 
foreign powers the right of oversight in cases in which 
a foreign interest is involved, and only in those cases. The 
foreign official view is equally unimpeachable. When in 
1853 the Taiping rebels devastated the country for hundreds 
of miles around Shanghai, many thousands of refugees found 
there under the foreign flags the protection to life denied 
them under their own flag. In the ten years which elapsed 
before the restoration of order these thousands were shel- 
tered within the area reserved for foreign residence, from 
which it would have been inhuman barbarity to expel them ; 
and while there police and sanitary measures were necessarily 
adopted to protect the foreign residents from them, and 
them from each other. The impetus thus given, Chinese 
continued to flock to the foreign settlement of Shanghai, 
within the limits of which there are to-day over half a million. 
There has thus grown up a foreign interest in real estate 
valued at over two hundred million taels, and a foreign in- 
terest in the maintenance of order and the administration 
of justice among the half -million Chinese living under the 
same jurisdiction as the foreign residents ; and the foreign 
official view is that foreign supervision is necessary over 
foreign and Chinese residents alike in the interest of 
foreigners ; and, further, that two independent police and 
justiciary? administrations cannot be allowed to function 
* See Appendix E. 


within the same area, and, that if there is to be one admini- 
stration, it shall be the foreign. 

To the ordinary functions of a Consul, the foreign repre- 
sentative in China adds those of judge, diplomatic agent, 
civil authority in control of the military, and has a potent 
voice in municipal administration. The foreign merchant 
is entirely removed from the jurisdiction of the laws of 
China, and is entitled to the protection — for life, liberty, and 
property — of his own national laws. The foreign missionary 
carries the protection of his own flag to the remotest corner 
of the Empire. All this arises from extraterritoriality. 
This remedy for the intolerable situation of the first half 
of the nineteenth century has now been in force for sixty 
years, and through it life in China has been rendered possible 
for all foreigners ; without it, during those sixty years 
the contention of the Chinese Government that none of the 
outer barbarians should abide on the sacred soil of the 
Middle Kingdom would have worked its own accomplish- 
ment. It is based on force, as was the first occupation of 
Massachusetts Bay and the progress of the Union from 
the Atlantic westward to the Pacific, or as was the settle- 
ment of New Zealand and of Canada ; and on manifest 
destiny so long as its beneficiaries can compel destiny. It 
has no logical or moral argument to uphold it ; and yet it 
is a necessity of the case, if the foreign merchant and the 
foreign missionary are to remain in the country ; and so long 
as their stay there is legitimate, so long will extraterritori- 
ality provide them with a buckler in following their lawful 
occupations. The right will not, and cannot, be abrogated 
until all the foreign powers concerned are unanimous in 
their opinion that residence in China will be as safe, and 
protected by guarantees as sound, as in other countries ; 
or until the growing strength and improved administration 
of China herself enable her to claim and to maintain the right 
of governing all within her borders. 



China Proper is divided into eighteen provinces, and to 
distinguish it from the rest of the Empire this part is 
commonly, and even officially, referred to by the Chinese 
as " The Eighteen Provinces." The events of the last 
dozen years, since 1894, have brought into commercial and 
political prominence the region which we call collectively 
Manchuria, divided for administrative purposes into three 
provinces ; these are called by the Chinese " The Three 
Eastern Provinces/' lying east of the eastern end of the Great 
Wall, where it comes to the sea at Shanhaikwan, built to 
protect the Eighteen Provinces forever from invading hordes 
from the north, whether Mongol or Manchu. The estimated 
area of the Empire, based not on any cadastral survey but 
on the simple process of multiplying degrees of longitude 
by degrees of latitude may be put as follows : — 

China Proper .. .. .. 1,535,000 Eng. sq. miles 

Manchuria . . . . . . 365,000 ,, ,, 

Mongolia, Tibet, Turkestan, etc. 2,400,000 ,, 

Total .. 4,300,000 „ 

The population is variously estimated from 270,000,000 
(Rockhill 1904, and Hippisley 1876) to 421,800,000 (Popoff 
1894) ; Parker's estimate * of 385,000,000 is probably the 
safest to follow. For China "outside the Wall " the safest 
estimates are 16,000,000 for Manchuria and 10,000,000 for 
Mongolia, Tibet, etc., making, with Parker's estimate for 
China Proper, a total of 411,000,000. 

The Eighteen Provinces extend roughly from latitude 
20 to 40 N. and from longitude 98 to 122 E., comprising 

* " China : Past and Present " (1903). 


the seventh and eighth hours of Zone time east of Greenwich. 
The western part is mountainous, filled with the spurs of the 
Central Asian plateau ; while on the east are the great 
plains formed by the outfall of the Yellow River and the 
Yangtze ; and in the south is the small, but incredibly rich, 
plain of the Pearl (or West River) delta, lying around 
Canton. Of the nineteen provinces (treating Manchuria as 
an undivided area), treaty ports have been opened in four- 
teen — coast, riverine, and frontier — while five (Shansi, Shensi, 
Kansu, Honan, and Kweichow) find their outlet through 
extra-provincial ports. 

Treaty Ports 

Treaty port is almost synonymous with " port of entry," 
but it is something more. The first men of the West, 
Portuguese, Dutch, English, or American, to come to China 
conducted their trade mainly at Canton. The Portuguese 
in their enterprising days had traded at Ningpo and Foochow 
as well, but under such circumstances that in 1557 they 
obtained a lease of Macao, 88 miles from Canton, and there 
they settled — and stagnated. In the eighteenth century 
the traders of that day, the English and Dutch, visited both 
Canton and Macao ; but the traders of the early part of 
the nineteenth century, the English and Americans, made 
Canton their commercial centre. Here, cooped up in their 
factory, or trading post, they had the privilege of residing, 
and here they bought and sold — much of the former and little 
of the latter. The conditions, both of residence and of 
trade, were unsatisfactory, and the British Treaty of Nan- 
king (1842) opened the first " treaty ports," five in number : 
Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo, and Shanghai. These five 
ports have now grown to forty, including some that have 
been opened voluntarily by China, not under the obligation 
of any treaty, but on the same footing and under the same 
trade regulations as the regular treaty ports/-*: At these 
ports foreign nations are privileged to establish Consulates, 
foreign merchants are permitted to live and trade, and oil 
the trade at these ports are levied dues and duties according 


to a tariff settled for both parties by treaty. At some ports 
are national concessions, as at Tientsin, on which municipal 
and police administration is under the control of the Consul 
of the lessee power ; at others are settlements or " reserved 
areas for residence," as at Shanghai, with municipal organi- 
sation, but at which the power which issues the title-deeds is 
China ; at others, including most of the newer ports, there 
is neither concession nor reserved area, excepting " Inter- 
national Settlements " established at a few places by the 
Chinese authorities. At all the treaty ports, however, there 
is one common right, the privilege of exempting goods by 
one payment from all further taxation on movement. 
On a bale of sheetings imported at Shanghai, a treaty port, 
the importer will pay once duty at the tariff rate ; it may 
then, perhaps a year later, be shipped to Hankow, a treaty 
port, without further payment ; it may then be shipped to 
Changsha, a treaty port, without further payment ; it may 
then be shipped to Changteh, having the privileges of a 
treaty port, without further payment ; but if it then goes 
on fifty miles farther, or if, instead of taking the journey 
of 900 miles in three stages to Changteh, it goes " inland " 
to a place which is not a treaty port thirty miles from 
Shanghai, the bale is liable to the taxation which is levied 
in China on all movement of commodities not exempted by 
special privilege. A treaty port may be miles away from 
the nearest navigable water, it may be the most inland of 
inland marts, but in matters of taxation and of privilege 
a broad distinction is drawn between these forty ports 
and all the rest of China, which, even on the coast, is " in- 
land." This is the one reason underlying the constant 
demand for the opening of new treaty ports, with all the 
expense for administrative and preventive work imposed 
on China, and for the enforcement of extraterritorial rights 
imposed on the foreign powers. 


Of the three eastern provinces, two, Tsitsihar (or Heilung- 
kiang) and Kirin, may be dismissed with few words. The 


chief interest in them attaches to the Amur (or Heilung- 
kiang, Black Dragon River) and the Sungari and their degree 
of navigability, and to the great wheat production of Kirin 
and the flouring mills established by the Russians at Harbin. 
This town is important as the junction between the rail- 
way north from Port Arthur, Talien (Tairen or Dalny), 
Newchwang and Moukden, and the Russian main line from 
Irkutsk and Lake Baikal to Vladivostock. The southern 
province, Shengking, is the most important, and contains, 
probably, nine-tenths of the total population of Manchuria ; 
of this population it is estimated that less than a fourth, and 
possibly not more than a tenth, consists of the original stock 
of the conquering Manchus, the great majority being immi- 
grants from Shantung and Chihli, and their descendants. 
The western part of this province is made up of the plain 
of the Liao and the valleys of its tributaries, and grows 
wheat and durra for food, and beans from which are made 
an esculent and illuminating oil, and bean-cake shipped to 
restore exhausted fertility to the fields of Japan and of 
Kwangtung. The eastern part is mountainous and hostile 
to the husbandman and the soldier, and its principal pro- 
ducts of value are opium and silk. The latter product China 
supplies from as far south as latitude 22° N., in its highest 
excellence from latitude 30 N., and, in the shape of " wild " 
silk or tussore from worms feeding on the oak, from beyond 
latitude 40 N. In minerals Manchuria is sufficiently rich 
to call for development, gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, and 
coal being known to exist. In the province of Shengking 
are three treaty ports, or, in the wild scramble for treaty 
ports now manifested, it is safer to say that this was the 
number in 1906 ; and in addition there is the territory of 
Port Arthur and Dalny (Talien in Chinese, Tairen in Japanese), 
granted in 1898 to Russia on a lease, which was subsequently, 
in 1905, transferred to Japan. 

Newchwang. (40 41' N., 122 16' E.) This port, 
situated 13 miles above the mouth of the Liao, was opened 
officially in 1861, but actually in 1864 at Yingtze or Yingkow, 
30 miles below the unimportant city of Newchwang. 


Recently the port has been distinguished as Yingkow, but 
Newchwang is and has been the name officially given to 
the Treaty Port, the Custom House, and the Post Office. 
A British concession was laid out, and through the long years 
of waiting for trade the little clump of buildings on this — 
dingy, dirty, and dusty — sufficed for all the requirements of 
the port. Now there are, on the left bank, the remains, not 
yet eroded out of existence, of the old British concession, 
and a new Russian concession, with 6,000 feet frontage, at 
the terminus of the branch line connecting the port with the 
main line of railway at Tashihkiao, which presumably goes 
with the railway to the Japanese ; and, on the right bank, 
a new British concession with 3,000 feet frontage, and a 
Japanese concession with 3,000 feet frontage, have been 
staked out, but not yet agreed to by China ; and, next down 
stream, the " Imperial Chinese Railway Reserve," with 
13,000 feet frontage. The Chinese population at the port is 
estimated at 75,000, and on December 31, 1905, there were 
within the district 291 resident civilian foreigners, of European 
and American nationality and 7,408 Japanese reported by 
the Consulate. The slow development of trade at New- 
chwang will be judged from the following figures, which in 
this case, as in the case of all the other ports to be described, 
show the value of the traffic in " foreign-type vessels " (i.e. 
nowadays mainly steamers) under the cognisance of the 
Imperial Maritime Customs, and do not include the junk 
traffic under the cognisance of the Native Customs. 


Imports. Exports. Total. 

Tls. Tls. Tls.* 

709,738 1,710,398 2,420,136 

2,433,135 1753,543 4,186,678 

3,690,410 4,123,084 7,813,494 

7,886,161 8,532,443 16,418,604 

29,358,392 12,159,486 41,517,878 

* The tael (Tls.) of silver had an exchange value of 6s. Sd. in 
1864, of 6s. \d. in 1874, of 5s. yd. in 1884, of 3s. 2d. in 1894, and of 
2s. lod. in 1904. 


During 1904 the junk trade amounted, in addition, to 
Tls. 6,365, 261 for imports, and Tls.4, 313,861 for exports, a 
total of Tls. 10,679,122. This gives a total of Tls. 52, 197,000 
as the value in 1904 of the water-borne trade of the 
district, of which Newchwang has been until 1906 the sole 
official and legal port of entry, and does not include any 
trade which may have been carried by rail across the land 
frontier or through Dalny. Among imports the principal 
items are cotton woven fabrics (value in 1904 Tls. 10,050,000 
for foreign, and Tls. 7, 8 15, 000 for native weaving), cot- 
ton yarn (value Tls.3, 946,000), hemp and gunny bags 
(Tls.315,400), cigarettes (Tls.428,890), flour (Tls.837,000, 
supplies from Harbin being shut off), matches (Tls.42 8,500), 
paper (Tls. 1,705, 000), kerosene oil (Tls. 1,087,000), sugar 
(Tls. 1, 497,000), rice (Tls. 962,000), and wheat (Tls.603,000). 
Of products of the district finding their outlet at New- 
chwang the principal are beans (value in 1904 Tls.6,577,000), 
bean-cake (Tls.4,589,000), bean-oil (Tls.2, 133,000), silk 
(Tls. 2, 005, 000), and such opium as was declared for assess- 
ment of duty (Tls.289,000). 

Moukden (41 51' N., 123 26' E.) is the Manchu name 
of what in Chinese is known as Shengking (the Sacred 
Capital), and administratively was from a.d. 1625 called 
Shenyang, and is now officially termed Fengtien. The old 
capital of the Manchus before they marched to the conquest 
of China and migrated to Peking, it still remains a sleeping 
capital, with a complete equipment of Ministries, duly 
provided with Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries, 
whose most important functions have for two-and-a-half 
centuries been those connected with pay-day. The practi- 
cal administration is in the hands of a Governor-General, 
who is at the same time Military Governor (Tsiang-kiin, 
Tartar General), and of a Civil Governor, who is assimilated 
to the Governors of the Eighteen Provinces. Situated at a 
distance of one hundred miles from Newchwang , in the heart 
of the plain of the Liao valley, it is admirably placed to 
serve as a distributing centre, and is on the point of being 
opened as a treaty port. It is connected by rail with Dalny 


and Newchwang, and, when the line from Sinmingfu is 
extended, will also find direct outlets at Chinwangtao and 
Tientsin. Outlets may also be found through Vladivostock 
and Irkutsk. The population is estimated at 250,000. 

Antung (40 8' N., 124 14/ E.) 23 miles above Ta- 
tungkow, at the mouth of the Yalu River which separates 
Manchuria from Korea, and Antung, 25 miles farther 
up, which were on the point of being opened as treaty 
ports in March 1907, will tap the wealth of timber stand- 
ing on the mountains flanking the river, and will provide 
an outlet for the silk of eastern Shengking, which now 
goes by junk to Chef 00 and Dalny. Antung will be a 
station on the line of railway connecting Korea with 

Harbin, the junction of the railways from Irkutsk to 
Vladivostock, and from Harbin to Kwanchengtze, where 
it joins the Japanese line to Dalny, is made the seat of a 
Custom House to control the railway traffic. 


The metropolitan province of Chihli, with an estimated 
area of 115,000 square miles, and a population of which the 
estimates range from 21,000,000 to 29,000,000, may be 
roughly divided into a northern half, mountainous and 
thinly peopled, lying mainly outside the Great Wall, and 
a southern part, densely populated, of flat alluvial plain, 
robbed in the course of ages from the waters of the Gulf 
of Pechihli by the detritus carried down by the Yellow 
River, and the loess borne on the winds. The hill country 
contains much mineral wealth, of which the bituminous 
coal mined at Tongshan and the anthracite of the hills west 
of Peking are conspicuous examples. The plain is a vast 
hive of human industry on which, as everywhere on the 
plains of China, man is pitted against the forces of nature, 
and, with no other appliances than those possessed by their 
remote ancestors, the men of the hive win out. This is a 
part of the country running from Tientsin to Chinkiang 
through seven degrees of latitude, and traversed by the 



various courses followed during the centuries by the erratic 
Yellow River, where man is at a peculiar disadvantage from 
the friable nature of the soil, the aggressive character of 
the water when in flood, and the fact that at such times 
the level of the waters is higher than that of the land. 
One grand scheme of reclamation is recorded in the time 
of Yung-cheng, a.d. 1723-1735, when 120,000 acres of marsh 
were converted into good arable land, and the canals, 
weirs, and bridges by which this work was carried out can 
be shown to-day after 175 years ; but in recent times little 
has been done on any extensive scale. The products of 
Chihli are those of the farm and farm-yard, the usual crops 
being millet, durra, and wheat. The treaty ports opened 
in the province are two in number, Tientsin and Chinwang- 
tao ; but the exceptional position of Peking calls for a 
description of that city. 

Peking (39 54' N., 116 27' E.). The capital of the 
Empire was first established at Peking (the Northern Capital) 
by Kublai Khan, when he initiated the Yuan Dynasty, 
a.d. 1260 ; the first Ming Emperor, a.d. 1368, established 
himself at Nanking (the Southern Capital), but the third 
of that line transferred the capital in 1421 to Peking, which 
has remained the seat of government continuously since 
then. Peking is a quite unofficial and quasi-foreign designa- 
tion, the Imperial name being King-shih (The Capital) and 
its name, as a unit of the provincial administration, being 
Shunt ien. In the same way it may be observed that the 
Empire has no name ; it is designated as " The Empire " 
or " (All within) The Four Seas," or " (All beneath) The 
Canopy of Heaven," or, quite unofficially, " The Middle 
Kingdom " ; but the name " China " is an old Buddhist 
name which has dropped out of use in the country which 
is designated by it, and is to-day, of all the countries using 
the Chinese ideograms, employed only by the Japanese. 
Peking is a camp, with the headquarters of the commander- 
in-chief in the middle, and the army encamped around ; 
then to the south, outside the walls but protected by their 
own walls, are the camp sutlers — the Chinese traders pur- 


veying to the Manchu garrison. The Chinese estimate of 
the population is 1,300,000. Considered commercially, 
Peking is a mouth, fed by the provinces, and having no 
industrial output ; and yet the foreign purveyors and 
hotel-keepers who have gathered around the Legations have 
found it to their advantage to act as if the city had the 
status of a treaty port — not one with the duty-exemption 
privilege, but a place in which they are permitted to reside, 
to buy and sell, and to act as general traders. Against this 
assumption the Chinese Government has repeatedly pro- 

Tientsin (39 9/ N., 117 n' E.), "The Ford of Heaven," 
is situated at the junction of the Grand Canal, which start- 
ing from Hangchow finds here the end of its long course, 
of the Peiho (North River) leading north to Peking, and 
of the Haiho (Sea River) emptying into the Gulf of Pechihli. 
The city is distant from the sea 35 miles by road, but 56 
miles by the original corkscrew windings of the river, a 
distance since reduced to 47 miles by the work of the Haiho 
Conservancy, and in time to be reduced to 36J miles. Even 
after all the improvement that has been effected, there are 
few cities in the world of equal commercial importance or 
supplying so rich a hinterland, which have such poor shipping 
facilities. A bar on which certain conditions of wind and 
tide will reduce the high- water depth to three or four feet, 
a channel in which the summer floods will cause the mud 
bottom to rise faster than the water surface, a river of 
many bends and restricted width, all combine to impose 
a limit on the carrying capacity of steamers entering the 
port. The eternal struggle of the enterprising merchants, 
foreign and native alike, of Tientsin can only be compared 
to the fight of the farmers of the province against the 
forces of nature, both having the same problem to solve. 
Tientsin is, with a few insignificant exceptions, the one 
official city of the Empire, of the rank of district city, which 
is to-day without the protection of walls It was in the 
reign of Yung-lo (a.d. 1403-1425) that it was permitted 
the privilege of walls ; these endured until the rule of the 


foreign Provisional Government which followed on the 
Boxer movement of 1900, when the walls were razed and 
the official city was left naked to the winds. Apart from 
the humiliation, the loss was a gain ; the walls afforded 
no protection to the wealthy commercial quarter, which, 
as is invariably the case in China, was in the suburb lying 
between the city and the river, and they have been well 
replaced by the broad avenues made on their site and 
providing thoroughfares unknown to other Chinese cities. 
Tientsin is rich in " concessions " for residence and foreign 
trade, having no less than thirteen — viz. British (i860), 
British Extension (1897), British Extra-mural Extension 
(1900), French (1861), French Extension (1900), American 
(granted in 1861, but at once abandoned and in 1902 added 
to the British Concession), German (1895), German Ex- 
tension (1901), Japanese (1896), Japanese Extension (1900), 
Austro-Hungarian (1902), Italian (1901), Russian (1900) and 
Belgian (1902). The last four and the various extensions, 
except the British, date from 1900 and later. The original 
concession, the British, dating from i860, is held under a 
lease in perpetuity to the British Government, a small 
ground rent being reserved to show the ultimate sovereignty 
of China. The area was divided into lots, the leases of 
which were sold to provide for roads and bunding, and 
which are held under a ninety-nine years' lease granted by 
the British Government, the annual rental being the due 
proportion of the reserved ground rent. The Consul is 
ex officio the ruling functionary ; all actions of the Municipal 
Council, elected by vote of the " land-renters," being 
submitted for his approval, and the annual " town meet- 
ing " or any special meeting being held under his presidency. 
The residence of Chinese on the concession being prohibited, 
otherwise than as servants of the foreign residents, the 
Consul has jurisdiction over all questions of landed property, 
and over all other questions in which a non-British European 
is not defendant. The Consul as representative of his 
Government, is de jure ruler of the concession ; but, in 
conformity with English practice, he actively intervenes 


only in a crisis, and ordinarily the duly-elected Municipal 
councillors are de facto rulers of a self -constituted little 
republic. In the other concessions nomination, and not 
election, decides the choice of Councillors. For the French 
concession the Municipal Council consists of the Consul as 
ex officio President, the six land-owners paying the highest 
taxes, and the three tenants paying the highest rent. Ger- 
many in 1897 contracted with a commercial syndicate to 
develop and administer her concession ; and in 1905 the 
Reichstag passed an enabling Act to allow self-government 
when desired. On the Japanese, Russian, Belgian, and 
Italian concessions the Consul is sole administrator. On 
the Austro-Hungarian concession there is little if any 
Austrian or Hungarian interest, the land-owners and 
inhabitants being Chinese ; and here the power is vested 
in an Administrative Secretary, nominated by the Consul, 
and in six of the leading Chinese residents also nominated. 
Of the extensions, the French, German, and Japanese are 
merely extensions of the original concessions, held in the 
same way under lease in perpetuity to the foreign power. 
In the British Extension, which was the first, a different 
principle was followed. The soil remains Chinese, and 
title-deeds are sealed and issued by the Chinese authorities 
as at Shanghai, and as at Shanghai it is only administrative 
functions — taxing, works, and police — which are delegated 
by the sovereign power. The Municipal Council, in its 
corporate capacity, and the " land-renters " of the British 
Concession own a considerable portion of the land in its 
extension, and the Municipal Council of the extension is 
composed of the members elected to the Municipal Council 
of the concession, ex officio, and four others elected ad hoc ; 
this makes it possible, while having separate budgets, to 
carry on the administrative work of the two areas with a 
staff common to both. In the foreign residential section 
of Tientsin, with a total area of 3,550 acres, of which 28 
per cent, is in the Russian Concession, we have thus six 
distinct forms of government under eight European powers. 
At Tientsin and in its consular district live (December 31, 


1905) a total of 3,770 civilian foreigners, including 679 
British, 387 American, 465 German, 244 French, 115 
Russian, 60 Austro-Hungarian, 100 Belgian, 34 Italian, 1,538 
Japanese, and 148 others. Formerly the population of 
the city and its suburbs was estimated at a million, but, 
with all its development, recent and more careful estimates 
put it at 750,000. The development of trade is shown by 
the following figures of the value of merchandise (not 
including treasure) carried in foreign bottoms. 







1864 . 

. 7.645422 



1874 • 

. 17,682,684 



1884 . 

. 20,328,981 



1894 . 

. 37,412,806 



1904 . 

• 54,059315 



1905 . 

. 81,826,313 



In addition, during 1905, produce to a value of Tls. 8,018,223 
was exported by junk. Among imports the principal items 
are cotton woven fabrics (value in 1905 Tls. 21, 314,000 for 
foreign, and Tls. 440,000 for native weavings), cotton yarn 
(Tls. 6,514,570 for foreign, and Tls. 574,100 for native spin- 
nings), copper (Tls. 3, 119,000 for foreign, and Tls. 460,840 
for Chinese) , cigarettes (Tls. 1,287,000), tobacco (Tls. 422,600), 
kerosene oil (Tls. 2, 268, 600), railway plant and machinery 
in general (Tls. 3, 995, 000), sugar (Tls.3, 286,000), timber 
(Tls. 1,445,000), paper (Tls. 2,290,000), rice (Tls. 10,592,000), 
silks (Tls. 1,840,000), tea (for local consumption Tls. 1,132,000, 
for transit to Russia by land Tls. 2,861,600). The principal 
among the articles of export were bristles Tls. 83 1,713), 
spirits (Tls. 666,500), skins and furs (Tls.5, 210,000), straw- 
braid (Tls. 858,600), and wool of camel, goat, and sheep 

Chinwangtao (39 55' N., 119 38' E.) is a compara- 
tively ice-free port on a frozen coast, affording an outlet 
when Tientsin (December to February) and Newchwang 
(November to March) are frozen up. Originally opened 


as a coal shipping port for the output of the Kaiping mines, 
and utilised as a winter landing for passengers and mails, 
it proved of great value in enabling the foreign garrisons at 
Peking and Tientsin to maintain communication with the 
outer world during the winter 1 900-1 ; and when the 
military forces were withdrawn to Tientsin, a Chinese Cus- 
tom House was established there in 1902. The trade of 
the port developed at once, and in 1905 amounted to 
Tls. 18,817,120 for imports, and Tls.3,033,959 for exports, 
a total of Tls. 2 1, 85 1, 079, the greater part of which should 
be added to the trade of Tientsin, of which Chinwangtao 
is the " winter jetty." Of its special export, coal, 168,576 
tons were shipped in 1905, in addition to 25,183 tons shipped 
from Tientsin. On the opposite side of the bay is the seaside 
resort of Peitaiho, frequented during the summer by resi- 
dents of Peking, Tientsin and Shanghai, and by missionaries 
from the interior of North China. 


Shantung, the " Mountains of the East," the home of 
Confucius, has an area estimated at 56,000 square miles and 
a population estimated at 37,000,000. It is divided sharply 
into two halves, the mountainous country to the east and the 
plain to the west. The eastern part, with a width of 80 
miles at the base and 30 miles at the tip, projects boldly 
for a length of 150 miles into the sea, separating the waters 
of the Yellow Sea to the south from the Gulf of Pechihli 
to the north, and is rich in minerals, notably coal, iron, and 
gold. The western part is a portion of the plain formed by 
China's Sorrow, the Yellow River. This river has changed 
its course many times, finding its outlet into the sea at 
several places within a range of eight degrees of latitude ; 
prior to the sixth century before Christ, it formed a delta 
with its northern mouth at Tientsin, latitude 39 N., and its 
southern mouth near the present outlet, latitude 38°N.. ; from 
the seventh century a.d. it emptied by one mouth about 
latitude 38 30' N. ; toward the end of the twelfth century it 
plunged south-east from a point midwaybetween Kaifeng and 


Tsinan, and emptied into the Yellow Sea south of Shantung, 
at about latitude 34 N. ; toward the end of the thirteenth 
century it broke away to the south-east from Kaifeng, and 
emptied partly through the last mentioned mouth and 
partly into the Yangtze, the southern mouth of which is at 
latitude 31 N. ; in 1324 it broke away lower down below 
Kaifeng, and flowed south-east to the mouth at latitude 
34 N. ; this course it kept until 1853, when it resumed its 
north-easterly course, flowing close to the north of Tsinan to a 
mouth in the Gulf of Pechihli, north of Shantung, at latitude 
38 N. These are what may be termed the " official " 
channels, the courses which the river condescends to recog- 
nise at seasons of low water. In times of flood it breaks 
out where it wills, and, even at the present time, finds an 
outlet for its waters where it can, some falling at times into 
the Yangtze, some into the Yellow Sea, some as far north 
as Tientsin, and some by its present legitimate mouth. In 
1887, for example, it broke out above Kaifeng, just below 
the spot where the Peking-Hankow Railway now crosses 
the river, and formed a temporary channel to the south- 
east through Honan and Anhwei. Coming from the treeless 
plateau of Central Asia, and flowing through a treeless 
country, the River Ho (i.e. Hwang-ho, as the Chinese call 
it) brings down the melting snows and falling rains in sudden 
flood, laden heavily with detritus from the loess formation 
of the west and north-west ; and this detritus, checked in 
its speed, is deposited so rapidly that the river bed is filled 
by degrees until everywhere its bottom is higher than the 
surrounding plain. Were it not for the vast sums of money 
and vast amount of work spent upon it every year and 
through the whole year, the Yellow River would have no 
fixed channel, but, with every recurring summer and its 
attendant flood, would spread over the plain which extends 
from longitude 114 E. to the sea, and from the Yangtze 
latitude 32 N. to Tientsin. Nor do these floods enrich the 
soil, as do those of the Yangtze and the Nile, but they deposit 
an infertile sand which is prevented from being rendered fer- 
tile by the combined action of the wind, the sun, and the rain, 


through its lightness and friability, which expose it to the 
destructive independent action of each element. This, too, 
is the only soil on which to raise protecting dykes, and 
catastrophic floods from breaches in the banks are of almost 
annual occurrence, being recorded in seven of the ten years 
1882-1891, and in seven of the years 1892-1901. With all 
this, or because of all this, Shantung, though rich in products, 
is richer still in its men, and richest of all in having pro- 
duced Confucius. The Master was born B.C. 551 (dying 
B.C. 479) in what is now the district of Chow-hsien, and his 
Memorial Hall is still standing at Chuchow in the prefecture 
of Yinchow, in the western part of the province ; and 
through all the vicissitudes of revolutions, rebellions, and 
falling dynasties, his memory has been kept green and his 
name honored by the perpetually hereditary rank of Kung 
(Duke) bestowed upon his family. His seventy-sixth lineal 
descendant to-day divides his time between Peking and his 
ancestral home : this, it may be noted, gives an average of 
31-4 years for a generation. 

Shantung produces coal, iron, and gold, and its farm pro- 
ducts are beans, opium, silk, wheat, millet, and tree-fruits. 
Within its limits are the treaty port of Chefoo and the 
foreign " leased territories " of Kiaochow and Weihaiwei. 

Chefoo (37 33' N., 121 22' E.) : the treaty port, 
opened in 1863, is not at Chefoo, which is on the north side 
of its harbor, but at Yentai on the south side. The road- 
stead provides a commodious anchorage, safe for vessels at 
all times with some selection of a berth, but so far exposed 
to certain winds, north and east, as to render the discharge 
of cargo difficult at times. Here there is neither concession 
nor settlement, in the sense of an administrative munici- 
pality ; but since the opening of the port the entire promon- 
tory of Yentai, which projects into the harbor, has been, 
more or less tacitly, and without any formal agreement, 
reserved for occupation as a foreign quarter. The residents 
have bought their own land, have made their own winding 
roads, and have maintained cleanliness and order mainly 
through the force of public opinion. They have assessed 


themselves and have expended their assessments through 
a headless committee, but have no official status as a self- 
governing administrative body ; and Chefoo represents 
the third of the four types of municipal government to be 
found operating at the treaty ports, of which the first 
is seen in the " concession," as at Tientsin already described, 
the second in the " settlement," as at Shanghai, and the 
fourth in a special form of government which will be de- 
scribed under Yochow. For many years, until about ten 
years ago, Chefoo was the sole summer resort available in 
China, and is still frequented by many, attracted by its 
sea bathing and sea breezes, and by the summer visits of 
many of the foreign war-ships on the station. The resident 
foreign population of the port and district in 1905 was 
143 1, including 433 British, 221 American, and 547 Japanese. 
For trade purposes the port is not well situated, being in 
the middle of the northern side of the mountainous section, 
and connected with the plain country only by such routes as 
are called roads in China, or by junk to the harborless ports 
of the north coast ; and yet, as an outlet and supply depot 
for the province, its development has been marked. A 
portion of its trade is with the coast of eastern Shengking 
lying opposite across the Gulf of Pechihli. The value of 
its trade during the past forty years has been as follows, 
treasure not included : — 































To this has to be added for 1905 the value of the junk 
trade, imports Tls. n, 531,033, exports Tls. 2,311, 260, total, 
Tls. 13,842,293. Among the imports the principal were 
cotton fabrics (value in 1904 Tls.3, 120,000 for foreign, and 


Tls. 1 5 5, 000 for native weaving), cotton yarn (Tls. 1,728,000 
for foreign, and Tls. 80,355 for native spinning), cigar- 
ettes (Tls. 674, 000), coal (Tls. 510,000), flour (Tls,i, 332,000), 
matches (Tls. 578, 000), kerosene oil (Tls. 1,917,000), sugar 
(Tls. 1, 732,000), and rice (Tls. 3,415,000). Among exports the 
principal articles were beans and bean-cake (Tls.2,794,000), 
wild silk (Tls. 4, 803, 000), straw-braid (Tls. 1,413,000), vermi- 
celli (Tls. 1,573,213). 

Weihaiwei (37 30' N., 122 9' E.) was occupied by 
Great Britain under a lease from China in 1898, as an 
answer to the Russian occupation of Port Arthur and Talien, 
which followed on the German occupation of Kiaochow. 
The government is by a Commissioner. There is no resident 
foreign population to form an electorate, and the Chinese 
are ruled more Sinico through the village elders. The port 
is a summer station, but not a base, for the British East 
Asiatic squadron, and an hotel and a school have been 
established there. Considering the meagreness of the 
population and that it is supposed, while being a free port, 
to have no legitimate traffic with its hinterland, its sea- 
borne trade is surprisingly large. 

Kiaochow is and remains a Chinese city at the head 
of its wide shallow bay, with good anchorage only at its 
mouth. Here lies Tsingtau (36 4' N., 120 18' E.), the 
port and seat of government of the German " Territory of 
Kiaochow." Possession of this port and its environs was 
taken on November 14, 1897, as reprisal for the murder 
of two German missionaries, and subsequently, in March 
1898, a lease for ninety-nine years was obtained from the 
Chinese Government. The local administration is con- 
trolled by a Governor, assisted by a Council composed of 
the heads of departments, eight in number, to whom are 
added three unofficial members. The town and port have 
been developed by subsidies provided by the German 
Government ; the town has been laid out with broad streets 
and provided with fine buildings, while the port is an 
artificial creation with its moles and breakwaters, and 
equipped with all needed European appliances ; and fifty 


million marks is a moderate estimate of the sum expended 
on their creation. As a summer resort Tsingtau is growing 
in popularity with the residents of Shanghai. The bay of 
Kiaochow lies at the junction of the plain and the mountain, 
and from its inner end Kublai Khan (a.d. 1260) made a 
canal to the north shore at Laichow, which, until the 
restoration and completion of the Grand Canal provided 
a safer route, enabled the tribute-laden junks to make their 
journey to the north without encountering the perils of 
the stormy passage around the Shantung Promontory. 
The canal has long since been unavailable for transport, 
but its modern substitute, the railway from Tsingtau to 
Tsinan, 450 kilometres, will tap the wealth of production 
of the plain part of Shantung, and the trade of the western, 
the richer, portion of the province is destined more and 
more to gravitate to Tsingtau. This is a German port, 
but the authorities have had the wisdom to invite the 
fiscal co-operation of the Chinese Government, and in July 
1899 the Chinese Kiaochow Customs Office was opened 
and functioned at the port itself. The fiscal arrangement 
then made was tentative, and has since been improved. 
Beginning from January 1, 1906, the Kiaochow Customs 
took entire control of the movement of merchandise inward 
and outward, at the same time conceding to Tsingtau all 
the trade privileges of a Chinese treaty port ; the harbor 
with its moles, and the railway terminus with the area 
around them, were declared a " Freibezirk," much like a 
huge bonded warehouse, into which movement is unre- 
stricted, and in which bonded manufacturing may be carried 
on ; the Chinese Customs tariff duty is levied on exports 
when shipped by sea, and on imports when leaving the free 
zone ; every facility is to be granted to the Chinese Customs 
as if on Chinese soil ; and 20 per cent, of the collection from 
imports is to be handed over to the German authorities 
as a contribution to the maintenance of the port. With this 
arrangement, if it is found to work, and the railway com- 
munication with its hinterland, the future of the port is 
assured, the more that the ordinary bureaucratic methods 


of German administration are not so much in evidence in 
the " Kiautschau-gebiet " as in other German colonies. 
Though through railway traffic to Tsinan was initiated 
only in 1905, the trade of the port has already made con- 
siderable progress, as evidenced by the following figures, 
in which the unimportant junk traffic is included. 















1905 . 

. 15,097,422 



The tendency of the trade of western Shantung to gravitate 
to Kiaochow to the detriment of Chefoo, formerly the only 
treaty port outlet for the province, is signally evidenced by 
the case of straw-braid ; of the total export of this product 
of home industry from the two Shantung ports in 1903 
Chefoo contributed 70 per cent and Kiaochow 30 per cent., 
while in 1904 the Chefoo contribution fell to 40 per cent., 
and in 1905 fell further to 21 per cent. Other important 
products exported from Kiaochow are yellow silk, bean-oil, 
and ground-nut oil. 

. Other Northern Provinces 

On the latitude of Shantung is a string of inland pro- 
vinces with no direct outlet on sea or river, the one river 
common to and running through them all, the Yellow 
River, not being generally navigable in any part of its course. 

Honan, " South of the Ho " (Yellow River), is hilly 
in its western part, where it borders on Shansi, Shensi, and 
Hupeh, and a plain to the east where it borders on Shantung, 
Kiangsu, and Anhwei. The estimated area is 68,000 square 
miles, and population 21,000,000. A rich country with no 
navigable rivers, it is destined to be recreated by railways ; 
and its produce, which formerly found outlets at Tientsin 
in the north or at Chinkiang in the south, is beginning to 
find its way to Hankow by the Peking-Hankow line which 
bisects the province from north to south. 


Shansi, the " Mountains of the West," lies between 
Chinli and Shensi. With practically no rivers intersecting 
it, and skirted on the west and south by the unnavigable 
Yellow River, it occupies a high plateau with a steep escarp- 
ment on its eastern side. Any failure of rain brings drought 
and almost unrelievable famine, and the difficulties of 
transport are such as to be overcome only by the con- 
struction of railways. A line is in course of construction, 
connecting the capital, Taiyuanfu, with the Peking-Hankow 
line at Chentow. The estimated area is 82,000 square 
miles, and population 12,000,000. 

Shensi lies between Shansi, Honan, and Hupeh on the 
east, Szechwan on the south, and Kansu on the west. Its 
produce finds an outlet partly through Honan and partly 
over the mountains and down the Han River to Hankow. 
At or near Sianfu was the ancient capital of what then 
constituted the Empire, in the third century before Christ 
and again in the sixth century after Christ ; and at Sianfu, 
to which the Court fled for refuge from the troubles of 1900, 
are maintained simulacra of Ministries, as at Moukden, 
but without staffs. The area of the province is estimated 
at 75,000 square miles, and its population at 8,500,000. 
The name of this province affords an instance of the diffi- 
culties of the Chinese language and its dependence on tones 
or inflexion of the voice. In spelling there is properly no 
distinction between Shansi and this province, and to dis- 
tinguish correctly the sound as spoken, the former should 
be Shansi and the latter Shansi : Shensi is only a convenient 
conventionalised mode of distinguishing the two provinces. 

Kansu forms the extreme north-west corner of the 
Eighteen Provinces, and has an area estimated at 125,000 
square miles, and a population of 8,000,000. Traversed 
by the Yellow River, it is restricted to land transport ; 
and its produce, mainly wool of sheep and camel, finds its 
outlet through Mongolia, thence down from the north-west 
to Tientsin. 

Kweichow lies far to the south, but is more conveniently 
mentioned here, as the only other province not having 


treaty ports. It lies between Szechwan to the north, 
Yunnan to the west, Kwangsi to the south, and Hunan to 
the east, and has an area estimated at 67,000 square miles, 
and population at 7,500,000. It is rich in minerals, especi- 
ally of the less common kinds, and its products, of which 
opium is the most important, find their outlet through 
Hunan and Kwangsi. 


Szechwan, the " Four Streams," has an area calculated 
to be 218,500 square miles. Nothing better illustrates 
the uncertainty impending over everything statistical in 
China than the variability of the estimates of its popula- 
tion. The estimates made within the last twenty years 
have ranged from 35,000,000 (Hobson, 1892) to 79,500,000 
(Popoff, 1894) ; but the general tendency of investigators 
has been to put it between 50,000,000 and 65,000,000; Parker 
(1903) is inclined, however, to doubt all the high estimates ; 
and Hosie (1904), than whom few have studied the province 
more carefully, puts it at 45,000,000. The surface of the 
province is made up of masses of mountains, through 
which the Yangtze has cut its deep and narrow channel, 
and which is everywhere cut up by steep-sided valleys and 
ravines. In the whole province there is but one extensive 
plain, that of Chengtu, the capital, on which the irrigation 
system is among the wonders of the world. Among the 
minerals found are gold, silver, cinnabar, copper, iron, 
coal, and petroleum, and among its natural products the 
chief are opium, hemp, white wax, yellow silk, and some 
hundreds of products of its hills and valleys included in 
the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Chief among the products of 
this rich province is salt, obtained from artesian borings, 
some of which extend 2,500 feet below the surface, and from 
which for centuries the brine has been laboriously raised 
by windlass and water buffalo power. The one outlet for 
Szechwan, except at the cost of toilsome mountain journeys, 
is by The Great River (Kiang) or The Long River — 
the river otherwise without a name, the spinal cord of China, 


which foreigners have united to call by the name given to 
it by the Chinese only for the last hundred miles of its 
course of thousands of miles : Yangtze. Flowing from the 
extreme west of China to the extreme east, it is only within 
the borders of Szechwan that this route presents any 
difficulties, and these are occasioned by the rapids over 
which the stream pours tumultuously in its passage through 
the famous Yangtze Gorges. Down stream the inherited 
and trained skill of the boatmen carry their frail craft 
safely past dangers with the current rushing, in places and 
at times, as much as fifteen miles an hour ; but up stream 
this skill is called into full play, and the boats, of about 
twenty-live tons capacity, pulled by a struggling, shouting, 
sweating crowd of a hundred trackers, more or less, 
frequently meet with accident in the passage of the rapids. 
Repairs are effected and damaged cargo is dried promptly 
on the way, but it is estimated that, apart from total losses, 
a full tenth of the boats upward-bound arrive with their 
cargo more or less damaged by water. Near each of these 
rapids is maintained an efficient life-saving boat service, one 
of the few public services in China of which nothing but 
good is said. The province contains one treaty port. 

Chungking (29 34' N., 106 31' E.) is situated at the 
confluence of the Great River (or the River of Golden Sand, 
as it is sometimes called in parts of its course through 
Szechwan) and the Small (or Kialing) River. In the Chefoo 
Convention (1876) it was stipulated that Chungking should 
be an outpost for watching trade, but that " (British) 
merchants will not be allowed to reside at Chungking, or 
to open establishments or warehouses there, so long as no 
steamers have access to the port." The first " steamer " 
to reach Chungking was a small steam-launch in March 
1898, and the first cargo-carrying steamer was the Pioneer 
in June 1899, both taken up by the developer of Szechwan, 
Mr. Archibald J. Little ; but, in fact, the place had been 
opened as a treaty port, with all its privileges, in March 1891. 
It is improbable that, under existing conditions, steam 
traffic can advantageously engage in the Szechwan carrying 


trade ; and the trade passing through the " Maritime 
Customs " is carried by junk, as is that passing through 
the Likin Stations, the latter offering the advantage of a 
flexible tariff and complaisant officials, the former based 
on its treaty port privilege by which the single import duty 
paid at Shanghai carries goods without additional taxation 
1,400 miles farther into the heart of China. The city, with 
a population of 300,000, occupies a rocky promontory on 
which mountain paths and flights of stone steps take the 
place of streets. The river rises here in summer normally 
70 feet above its winter level, frequently more, and 
in 1905 rose to a height of 108 feet. The few foreign resi- 
dents are scattered over the city and on the opposite shore, 
and have no municipal organisation. In considering the 
volume of trade it must be remembered that it is optional 
with merchants to pass their cargo at the Maritime Customs 
or at the Likin Stations, and that the latter publish no 
statistics. The value of the trade passing the Customs has 
been as follows : — 







1894 . 




1904 . 




Of the imports five-sixths are made up of cotton manu- 
factures, viz. cotton piece goods (Tls.3, 777,600, all foreign 
weaving), and cotton yarn (Tls.8,993,700 foreign, and 
Tls. 2,681, 500 native spinning). Among exports the princi- 
pal items were bristles (Tls. 477,000), hides (Tls.458,000), 
medicines (Tls. 974,000), musk (Tls. 983,000), opium (Tls. 
4,084,000), silk (Tls. 1,813,000), goat-skins (Tls. 450,000), 
white wax (Tls. 332, 000), and sheep's wool (Tls.315,000). 
Much of the opium sent from the province takes various 
land routes to escape too rigid a scale of taxation, 
but the quantity sent down the river through both taxing 
offices in 1904 was 36,856 piculs, and in 1905 was 36,311 
piculs, valued at Ichang, after passing the dangers of the 
river, at about Tls. 16,000,000, in each year. 



Wanhsien, the opening of which is provided for in the 
British commercial treaty of 1902, is situated on the Yangtze, 
midway between Chungking and Ichang. 


Hunan, " South of the Lake " (Tungting), consists of 
mountains to the south and west, with the Tungting Lake 
and its surrounding alluvium occupying the north-eastern 
quarter. Its area is estimated at 83,400 square miles, and 
its population at 22,000,000. Its people are the sturdiest 
and most straightforward of the provincials of China, and 
they have never allowed the Empire to forget that to them 
was due its salvation during the period 1853-63, when the 
Hunan levies under Tseng Kwo-fan arrested and turned 
back the advancing wave of the Taiping rebellion ; from 
that time, until the recent formation of the " New Model " 
army, the Chinese army was largely composed of Hunanese 
" braves." Anthracite coal is mined in the south-east, 
bituminous coal in the south and west, and from the west 
come antimony and others of the uncommon metals. The 
alluvial lands and valleys produce rice with an exportable 
surplus of over a million piculs annually, tea of which 
300,000 piculs are forwarded annually to Hankow, and 
sub-temperate products in general ; and large rafts of timber 
are floated down the Yuan River, the value of annual floats 
to Hankow being estimated at upwards of ten million taels. 
Formerly a vast trade between Canton and Hankow passed 
from Kwangtung over the Chiling Pass and down the 
Siang River through Hunan, and Siangtan was then, in con- 
sequence, one of the principal trade marts of China ; but, 
since the advent of steam traffic, this trade now takes the 
sea and Yantgze route via Shanghai. In Hunan three 
places have been opened to trade as " treaty ports." 

Yochow (29 20' N., 113 E.) was opened voluntarily 
by China in 1899. Situated at the point where the Tungting 
Lake empties into the Yangtze, it was expected that this 
port would tap the entire trade of Hunan, owing to the 
presumed necessity of transhipping from the deeper vessels 


possible on the Yangtze to the lighter draft boats of the 
inner waters, but this expectation has not been realised, 
and the successive later opening of Changsha and Changteh 
has effectively killed whatever prospect of trade Yochow 
may have had. The municipal plan adopted at Yochow 
is one which has been introduced at some other ports. 
The Chinese Government expropriated the land required 
for an " international settlement," laid out roads and sold 
the lots by auction, reserving an annual ground rent of a 
substantial amount ; wharfage dues, moderate in amount, 
are levied ; municipal work and police are under the joint 
control of the Yochow territorial Taotai and the Com- 
missioner of Customs ; all expenses are at the charge of 
the Chinese Government, and the community is burdened 
neither with further taxation nor with the task of governing : 
in the event of further taxation becoming necessary, it 
will be under the control of a representative body. The 
population of Yochow is 20,000, and the " treaty port " is 
five miles distant, at a point where alone a safe anchorage 
could be found. 

Changsha (28 12' N., 112 47' E.), the capital of the 
province, on the Siang River, was opened as a treaty port 
in 1904. The city is a centre of learning and culture, 
encouraged by the wealth remitted to their homes by the 
many eminent officials of Hunan birth, and protected by 
the independent character of the people ; and it marks the 
extreme western limit of the advance of the Taipings, who 
were repulsed from its walls, though gaining numerous vic- 
tories in nine provinces. Its population is stated at 230,000. 
Thirty miles farther up river is Siangtan, the population of 
which was formerly stated to be 700,000, but is now supposed 
not to exceed half that number. The depth of water up to 
Changsha in summer may be put at fully ten feet, but in 
winter is reduced in places to three feet. The trade passing 
the Customs of Yochow and Changsha combined was 
valued in 1905 at Tls.4,447,058 for imports, andTls. 1,938,830 
for exports, a total of Tls.6,385,888. Considering that 
the export of Hunan tea alone must be worth Tls. 10,000,000, 


these figures \ show that the trade of this rich province 
continues to be carried in the small Yangtze junks. 

Changteh (29 1' N., in° 27' E.), on the Yuan River 
west of the Tungting Lake, is on the point of being volun- 
tarily opened by China. The so-called lake is to-day a 
lake in summer only, and in winter is a series of wide, 
shallow channels in a waste of mud ; and, summer and 
winter, traffic to Changteh passes by the sinuous channels 
of the deltaic land lying south of the lake between the 
mouths of the Siang and Yuan. During the winter the 
greatest draft of water which can go through to Changteh 
does not exceed two feet. Changteh is a city of 150,000 
inhabitants, and its chief value as an open port lies in the 
fact that imports are carried free of duty so much the 
farther inland. 


Hupeh, " North of the Lake," has an area estimated 
at 71,400 square miles, and a population of 34,000,000, and 
forms with Hunan the Viceroy alty of Hukwang, " The 
Lake District." Mountainous to the north and west, its 
centre is covered by an extensive plain forming a triangle, 
with its base well north of the line Hankow-Ichang, and 
its legs formed by the Yangtze in its course from Ichang 
south-east to Yochow, thence north-east to Hankow. 
This plain, dotted with lakes and intersected by canals, 
is much of it depressed, some of it covered by floods every 
summer, and most of it protected from repeated summer 
flooding only by a vast system of embankments, admirably 
designed and constructed, and kept in continual repair ; 
and its principal product is cotton. In this province are 
three treaty ports. 

Ichang (30°42 / N., iii° i6' E.), a city of 40,000 people, 
is situated at the head of steam navigation on the Yangtze, 
at the throat of the main outlet from Szechwan, and at the 
point where the mountains of Szechwan and western Hupeh 
meet the central plain of Hupeh. Here a great emporium 


might have been expected to spring up at which the men of 
the mountains should meet the men of the plains, and the in- 
land men should meet the men from the sea, for the mutual 
exchange of products. The course of trade has, however, 
undergone no change, and Ichang, opened as a treaty port 
in 1876, has done no more than use its advantage of steamer 
traffic and take from Shasi a portion, and the major portion, 
of the work of transhipping the Szechwan trade from the 
deep-draft lower river boats to the light upper river boats and 
vice versa ; while the emporia for the exchange of products 
are still at Hankow and Shanghai. The character of the 
trade of Ichang may be judged from the following figures 
for the traffic which, between Ichang and Chungking, went 
by " chartered junk," subject to the control of the Maritime 
Customs, and, between Ichang and Hankow, went by 
steamer, competing with the lower river junk, the value 
of the traffic by which is not included. 

Gross Imports. Re-Exports. Net Imports. 
{i.e. transhipped) 
Tls. Tls. Tls. 

1894 .. 10,373,903 9,427,920 945,983 

i9°4 •• 35>559,84i 34,129,018 1,430,823 

Shasi (30 17/ N., 112 17' E.), a city of 80,000 people, 
was opened as a treaty port in 1896. Originally, before 
the opening of Ichang, it was the ordinary place of tran- 
shipment for the Szechwan trade ; and in itself should be 
a good distributing centre, placed in the heart of the Hupeh 
plain, with canals radiating from it through the plain and 
into Hunan. One such canal connects it directly with 
Hankow by a much shorter route than that taken by 
steamers on the Yangtze ; and to this canal facility must 
be attributed its failure to develop as a steamer port. 
The value of the trade has been as follows : — 












• • 1,334*328 




Hankow (30 35' N., 114 17' E.), " Han-mouth," is 
situated at the junction of the Han River and the Yangtze ; 
across the Han is Hanyang, containing extensive iron and 
steel works ; and opposite both, across the Yangtze, is 
Wuchang, the provincial capital : the combined population 
of the triple mart is estimated at 870,000. This was an 
important commercial centre before the foreign trader put 
in an appearance ; was further developed when it consti- 
tuted the head of steam navigation ; still further developed 
since the opening of the upper reaches of the Yangtze to 
steamers ; and its recent start as a railway centre can only 
add to its importance. Opened as a treaty port in 1861, 
an area of 62 acres was granted to the British Government 
as a concession, governed on the same plan as that of 
Tientsin ; here for thirty-five years merchants of all nations 
lived and traded, content with their modest area and its 
half-mile of river frontage. In 1896 this concession was 
extended by an additional area of 53 acres, on the same 
footing as the original grant. Next below the British 
concession is the Russian. A French concession was 
granted in 1861, but was not taken up, and was re-granted 
in 1896. Next below the French comes the German con- 
cession, granted in 1895, with an area of 108 acres ; and 
below the German is the Japanese concession of 31 acres. 
Including the Peking-Hankow Railway reservation, still 
farther down stream, there is, starting from the Chinese 
business quarter of Hankow, a frontage of 6,000 yards 
under foreign control, most of it well bunded. The foreign 
population of Hankow, in December 1905, was 2,151, 
including 504 British, 500 American, 162 German, 68 
French, 89 Russian, 84 Belgian, 134 Italian, 537 Japanese, 
and 73 others. When present plans are carried out, 
Hankow will be at the intersection of a cross, formed by 
the Yangtze from east to west, and the trunk railway 
Peking-Hankow-Canton from north to south, and it is 
difficult to set any moderate limit to its prospect of 
development. In the past the value of its trade has 
been as follows : — 








1864 . 

• 7>935.558 



1874 . 

. 14,885,471 



1884 . 

. 17,467,883 



1894 . 

. 15,915,966 



1904 . 

. 44,364,324 



1905 . 

. 53>837>696 



To enumerate the principal imports would be to give a list 
of the principal imports into China. Among exports 
originating in Hankow, and not, as in the case of Kiu- 
kiang, tea, first originating elsewhere, the principal are 
tea (Tls. 9,729,000), cotton yarn (Tls. 1,829, 000), beans 
(Tls.7, 089,000), bean-cake (Tls. 868,000), wood-oil (from seeds 
of Aleurites cordata, Tls.3, 320,000), cotton (Tls.3, 910,000), 
jute (Tls. 1,704, 000), hides (Tls.3, 177,000), pig i ron 

I (Tls. 987,000), rice (Tls. 2, 130,000), sesamum seed 
(Tls.3, 172, 900), skins and furs (Tls. 2,050,000), vegetable 
tallow (Tls. 1,403,000), tobacco (Tls.2, 184,000). Of the 
steamers entered and cleared at Hankow during 1905, a 
total of 3,715,710 tons, 50 per cent, was under the British 
flag, 17 per cent, under the Chinese, 16 per cent, under the 
Japanese, and 13 per cent, under the German. 


The province of Kiangsi, with an area estimated at 
69,500 square miles and a population of 22,000,000, is 
mountainous over much of its surface, but has the general 
appearance of a trough trending to the northern border. 
The basin of the trough is the Poyang Lake, into which 
flow rivers from the east, south, and west, and which finds 
its outlet to the north, emptying into the Yangtze at Hukow, 
some twenty miles below Kiukiang. The Poyang Lake 
and the Tungting Lake in Hunan act as reservoirs to take 
the first rush of flood waters coming down the Yangtze 
every summer, and reduce their catastrophic effects. The 


lake and its affluents, accessible through the portal of 
Hukow, furnish the channels of transportation through 
the province. From Kiangsi over the Meiling Pass to 
Canton runs a main trade route, by which formerly a con- 
siderable traffic passed, and by which even now goes much 
of the porcelain sent from Kingtehchen to Canton, to be 
there painted with the florid Cantonese designs. King- 
tehchen itself, a town of no official status, i.e. with no official 
head or government, with a population estimated a century 
ago by Abbe Hue at a million, destroyed in the Taiping 
rebellion, and revived so as to support a present population 
of 150,000, is the centre of production of Chinese porcelain. 
Formerly unapproachable in quality and inimitable in the 
coloring of its designs, this porcelain rapidly deteriorated 
from the end of the eighteenth century, and received its 
death-blow on the destruction of the ovens by the Taipings ; 
and since the revival of the industry the product has been 
coarse and heavy in material, and crude in the coloring 
and design of what is painted at the place. Other products 
of the province are tea, tobacco, paper, hemp, and wood-oil. 
In the province is one treaty port. 

Kiukiang (29 44/ N., 116 8' E.), a city of 55,000 people, 
opened as a treaty port in 1861, is situated near the outlet 
of the Poyang Lake. In this year a British concession 
was granted, with municipal government like that of 
Tientsin, and this constitutes to-day the residential quarter 
for the foreign community. Thirteen miles from Kiukiang 
is the mountain resort of Kuling, " Bull Ridge," where, at 
an altitude of 3,500 feet, the foreign residents of Shanghai 
and the Yangtze valley have established a " summer 
cottage " colony, comprising, with no hotels, by the census 
of September 1906, a summer population of 1,100. The 
intended function of the port, to serve as a tea market, 
was maintained for a few years, but by degrees the control 
of the business was transferred to Hankow, and to-day 
most of the tea prepared for the foreign market remains 
in Chinese hands until it is sold at Hankow. The progress 
of trade at the port is shown by the following figures, the 


shipments of tea in thousands of piculs being shown in 
parentheses after the export values : — 





4,070,948 (137) 
9,921,679 (245) 
6,351,800 (279) 


6\705>479 (211) 
12,302,165 (186) 



Among the imports in 1904, cotton yarn was valued 
at Tls.4,327,000, kerosene oil at Tls.859,000, sugar at 
Tls. 767, 000 ; among exports the principal were tea 
(Tls.4,945,000), porcelain (Tls. 714,300), cotton (Tls. 502, 300), 
hemp (Tls. 926,000), paper (Tls. 1,443, 000), and tobacco 


The province of Anhwei, with an area estimated at 
54,800 square miles and a population variously at from 
25,000,000 to 35,000,000, was formerly a part of the province 
of Kiangsu, from which it was separated administratively 
in the reign of Kang-hi, a.d. 1662-1723. The portion north 
of the Yangtze, except for some part of the extreme west 
bordering on Hupeh, is plain, and may be termed the 
granary of the Empire, annually producing a greater ex- 
portable surplus of rice than any other rice-growing district. 
South of the Yangtze, except for plains bordering the river, 
is mainly hilly. The principal products are rice, tea, 
opium, hemp, cotton, and paper. Anhwei is the country 
of Li Hung-chang, who supplemented the work of the 
Hunanese Tseng Kwo-fan in suppressing the Taiping re- 
bellion, and who from 1870 until near his death in 1902 
was Grand Secretary, Viceroy of Chihli, Imperial Com- 
missioner for Foreign Trade, Generalissimo of the military 
and naval forces in the north, and principal negotiator for 
the Imperial Government of its treaties and conventions ; 


through his agency the men of Anhwei were brought forward 
in official life and in recruiting for the army, thus preventing 
the Empire from becoming the exclusive pasturage of the 
men of Hunan ; and his family have for many years domi- 
nated the rice trade of his native province. The provincial 
capital, Anking, is a port of call for Yangtze steamers, and 
at Tatung is the Superintendency of the Salt Likin 
Collect orate, the revenues of which are pledged for foreign 
loans. In the province is one treaty port. 

Wuhu (31 20' N., 118 21/ E.), a city of 137,000 in- 
habitants, was opened to foreign trade in 1877. For 
twenty-eight years there was no concession, settlement, 
or reserved area for foreign residence ; but in 1905 an area 
was marked off for an international settlement, to be 
administered on the Yochow plan. The following figures 
show the development of trade : — 







1884 . 

. 2,681,697 



1894 . 

. 5,068,450 



1904 . 

• 9,916,453 



The imports in 1904 included cotton woven fabrics 
(Tls. 1, 750,000 for foreign, and Tls.274,000 for native weav- 
ings), cotton yarn (Tls. 818,000), gunny bags (Tls.426,000), 
kerosene oil (Tls. 7 18, 000), and sugar (Tls. 1,209, 000) ; 
the exports included few articles of much importance 
except rice, of which the shipments, ranging generally from 
2,000,000 to 4,000,000 piculs, amounted to 5,621,143 piculs 
in 1904, and 8,438,093 piculs (502,250 tons) in 1905. 


The province of Kiangsu is essentially a country of the 
plain, comprising nearly the entire area of the alluvial 
deposit of the mouth of the Yangtze, and the coast strip, 
as far up as Shantung, of the Yellow River deposit. Its 
area is estimated at 38,600 square miles, and its population 


variously at from 14,000,000 to 39,000,000, the most probable 
figure being 25,000,000 (Popoff, 1894). It is a province 
in which, through its whole extent, every inch of ground is 
utilised, even the otherwise barren wastes of the low coast 
supplying the salt for the Hwai Administration, which 
provides officially for the needs of six provinces or parts of 
provinces, with a probable total of a hundred million 
consumers. The natural products are rich in quality and 
infinite in variety, including silk, by nature the finest in 
the world, rice, the choicest of any in China, cotton, of 
short staple but fine fibre, besides opium, wheat, beans, 
etc. ; while the products of its hand-looms, of the silk 
weavers of Soochow and Nanking, and of the cotton weavers 
of every farmstead in the province, have been renowned 
for centuries. Trade is an instinct of the province, facilitated 
by the canals which everywhere and in all directions inter- 
sect its surface, the Grand Canal being only primus inter 
pares. The ruined bridges, temples, and houses of this 
smiling land, devastated by the Taiping rebels (1853-64), 
were a marked characteristic of Kiangsu thirty years ago, 
and are still observable in many places. Kiangsu, Kiangsi, 
and Anhwei form the Viceroy alty of Liangkiang, " The 
Two River (provinces)." In the province are four treaty 
ports, Nanking, Chinkiang, Soochow, and Shanghai. 

Nanking (32 13' N., 119 25' E.), the " Southern 
Capital/' the official name being Kiangning, u River Rest," 
was the capital of the Empire at several periods of its history, 
the last occasion being under the two first Ming Emperors, 
1368-1402. Remains of some of the old walls are still 
discernible, one of the time of the Six Dynasties, a.d. 
221-587, and another of the city under the Southern Sung 
(a.d. 1 127-1280), and Mongol (a.d. 1280-1368) Dynasties. 
The present wall, substantially that of the Ming Hung-wu 
(a.d. 1368), but renovated after its capture by the Taipings 
in 1853 and its recapture after a siege of eleven years in 
1864, have a circuit of twenty-five miles, and enclose an 
area sufficient rather for the possible population of the 
capital of an empire than for the present population of 


275,000. The walls and city, and the tombs of the early 
Ming Emperors attract visitors ; but the pride of Nanking, 
the famous porcelain pagoda erected by Yung-lo (a.d. 
1403-24), was destroyed by the Taipings. Nanking is the 
capital of the Viceroyalty of the Two Kiang, but the 
Governor of Kiangsu has his seat at Soochow. The first 
treaty made by China with any of the maritime powers 
was the British treaty of 1842, signed at Nanking. The 
French treaty of 1858 provided for the opening of Nanking, 
then in the hands of the Taipings ; but when, in 1865, the 
British and French Commissioners visited the place, they 
decided that the trade prospects were too unpromising, 
and it was actually opened as a treaty port only in 1899. 
The principal industry is silk-weaving, which, however, 
has not fully recovered from the dislocation caused by the 
disorders of the Taiping occupation, the number of looms 
being said to have been 50,000 in the city and its immediate 
vicinity before the rebellion, and to be only 5,000 now. The 
development of trade is shown by the following figures : — 







. . 







The imports comprised the usual requirements of a dis- 
tributing centre, and of exports nearly two-thirds of the 
value consisted of satin (Tls.2,335,000). 

Chinkiang (32 13' N., 119 25' E.), occupies an 
important position near to the point where the Yangtze 
leaves the old geologic formation and becomes more or 
less deltaic in character, and at the point where the Grand 
Canal is intersected by the Yangtze. By means of the 
Grand Canal it is a distributing and collecting centre for 
a large area, extending into Shantung, Honan, Anhwei, and 
even into Chihli. The city, with a population of 170,000, 
was opened to foreign trade in 1861, and the foreign resi- 
dential quarter is on the British concession, administered 


in the same way as the British concession at Tientsin. The 
course of trade is shown by the following figures : — 







1864 . 

• 4^73,294 



1874 . 

• H439>133 



1884 . 

. 11,108,506 



1894 . 

. 15,165,088 



1904 . 

• 23,941,579 



The principal imports in 1904 were cotton woven fabrics 
(Tls. 3, 866,000), cotton yarn (Tls. 3, 693, 000), matches 
(Tls. 572, 000), kerosene oil (Tls. 1,786,000), sandal-wood 
(Tls. 325, 000), sugar (Tls. 3, 681, 000), wood-oil (Tls. 1,058,000), 
and tobacco (Tls. 594,000). The principal exports were 
beans (Tls. 535, 000), bean-cake (Tls. 78 1,000), ground nuts 
(Tls. 1,804,000), ground nut-oil (Tls. 91 1,000), sesamum oil 
(Tls. 876,000) and satin (Tls. 759,000). Of the total import 
of foreign goods, excluding opium, in 1904 (Tls. 15, 185, 682), 
78 per cent, went inland under transit pass, 38 per cent, 
going to destinations in the home province, and 40 per cent, 
into other provinces, Anhwei, Shuntung, Honan, etc. 

Soochow (31 25' N., 120 34" E.), the provincial capital, 
has for centuries been famous for its wealth and its magni- 
ficence, and is the subject of two well-known proverbial 

Shang yu tien tang, 
Hsia yu S00 Hang. 
(Above is heaven's blue, 
Below are Hang and Soo.) 

The other is more cryptic, and is expressed in three words 
" Hang Soo Lin," which may be explained as follows : 
" Be born at (Hang-) chow, because there the men are 
handsomest and most learned ; marry at (S00-) chow, 
because there the women are most beautiful ; die at (Lin-) 
chow, because there may be found the finest wood for 
coffins." Poets have sung the city in many another phrase, 
and Western poets may there find keen enjoyment, pro- 


vided that, as elsewhere in China, they have no olfactory 
nerves. The population, estimated before the rebellion 
at a million, is now about 500,000 ; the walls are about 
ten miles in circuit, and, as is usual with Chinese cities, 
the greater part of the trade is carried on in the suburbs, 
outside the walls, more especially to the north-west. The 
one important industry is silk-reeling, spinning, and weaving. 
Soochow was opened as a treaty port in 1896, and an 
international settlement was laid out, to be administered 
on the plan afterward adopted for Yochow, situated outside 
the south wall, at the greatest possible distance from the 
business quarter and from the railway station, opened to 
traffic in 1906. The opening of the port has produced 
but little effect on the course of trade, which continues 
to follow old channels to Shanghai ; the total value in 
1904 was Tls. 1, 247,668 for imports, of which tobacco 
contributed nearly a fourth, and Tls. 1,886,194 for exports, 
of which silk contributed four-fifths. 

Shanghai (31 14' N., 121 29' E.), " By-the-Sea," is 
now far removed from salt water, but is the first point on 
entering the Yangtze at which a port can be established. 
At a distance of 60 miles from the North Saddle light, 
on an outlier to the entrance, and at 32 miles from the 
Tungsha lightship, marking the outer bar of the southern 
entrance to the Yangtze, at the village of Wusung, is the 
first affluent of the Yangtze, the Hwangpu, draining an 
extensive area of canal-intersected plain between Chinkiang 
and Hangchow. The Hwangpu, a tidal river emptying 
into a tidal river, has an outer and an inner bar, the latter 
with only a general depth of 19 feet at high water, spring 
tides, though at times this is increased to 23 feet. This 
sufficed for the vessels engaged in the carrying trade in the 
early days, but, with the increase in carrying capacity of 
steamers in recent times, many ocean steamers are now 
compelled to discharge outside Wusung, and in 1906 a 
Conservancy Board was established by the Chinese Govern- 
ment, under the stipulations of the International Protocol 
of September 8, 1901, to improve the condition of the 


river. Twelve miles up the Hwangpu is the city of Shanghai, 
with excellent anchorage and discharging facilities. The 
anchorage had thirty to forty years ago a general width of 
1,800 feet, but, by the agency of natural causes acting 
mainly upon the works of man, this is now reduced to 
about two-thirds of the former available width, but with 
unaltered depth. At Shanghai is the junction with the 
Soochow Creek, which provides water communication with 
the country to the west, and which, almost entirely through 
human agency, is now reduced to less than a hundred yards 
in width. The approaches from the sea are lighted by 
seventeen lights. 

Shanghai is mentioned in history 2,150 years ago, and 
900 years ago was a mart of sufficient importance to be 
made a Customs Station. It was occupied in 1842 by the 
British forces on their way to Nanking, and, having been 
declared a treaty port by the treaty of Nanking, was for- 
mally opened to trade on November 17, 1843. The first 
district to be occupied for foreign residence was selected 
by the British authorities, bounded on the south by the 
Yangkingpang, a ditch running east and west about a 
quarter-mile north of the Chinese city, on the north by 
the Soochow Creek, on the east by the Hwangpu, and 
on the west by Defence Creek dug at one mile distance 
from the Hwangpu, enclosing an area of 470 acres with a 
river frontage of three-fourths of a mile. In 1849 the French 
authorities delimited an area between the Yangkingpang 
and the city, and in 1853 obtained in extension the narrow 
strip lying between the city and the river, having, with 
narrow depth, a river frontage of nearly three-fourths of 
a mile. The Americans occupied the district called Hong- 
kew, lying north of the Soochow Creek, with frontage on 
that creek and on the river, including the most valuable 
part of the wharfage of Shanghai. This American Settle- 
ment was in 1863 amalgamated with the British Settle- 
ment, both Governments waiving their exclusive rights and 
thereby creating the self-governing republic styled " The 
Foreign Community of Shanghai, North of the Yangking- 



pang," the French Government having refused to surrender 
its jurisdiction over the so-called " Concession Francaise." 
In 1899 these various settlements were extended, and the 
authority of the Municipal Council of the " International 
Settlement," as it is called for short, now extends over 
5,584 acres, while the present area of the " Concession 
Francaise " is 358 acres. The resident population of the 
International Settlement at different periods and of the 
whole of Shanghai and district for 1905 was as follows : — 

















Austro- Hungarian 




Other foreign 







































































Total .. 
















The resident population under the French Municipality 
in 1905 was 831 foreigners (including 274 French, 109 
British, 47 German, 73 Japanese) and 84,792 Chinese. By 
whatever name they are called, and whatever the minor dif- 
ferences in their form of government, the several " reserved 
areas " at Shanghai, whether British, French, American, or 
International, are not concessions such as exist at Tientsin, 
Hankow, and Canton, where a grant has been made by a 
lease in perpetuity from the Government of China to the 
foreign power, and where the " land-renter " holds under 
a title-deed issued by the foreign lessee power, and regis- 
tered only at the Consulate of that power. They are 
" Settlements," reserved areas within which foreigners are 
permitted to acquire land, in which Chinese may continue 
to hold land, in which foreigners acquire land by direct 
negotiation with the original owners — for such land a bill 


of sale is not issued, but it is held under " perpetual lease," 
sealed and issued by the Chinese territorial authority ; 
and this title-deed may be registered at any Consulate, 
ordinarily that of the land-renter, and not compulsorily at 
that of the titular controlling power. The Settlement has 
complete self-governing power, including the power of 
taxation and police ; but the systems on the two sides of 
the Yangkingpang differ. They are alike only in not 
granting the franchise to Chinese, who are considered to 
be residents of the Foreign Settlements by sufferance, a 
sufferance dating from the time when they came by thou- 
sands as refugees from the Taipings, and found under the 
foreign flags the safety they could not find under their 

The first Land Regulations for the British Settlement 
were drawn up in 1845, with a " Committee of Roads and 
Jetties " nominated by the Consul. These, as amended in 
in 1854 and approved by the Chinese authorities, extended 
the privilege of acquiring land within the Settlement to 
all foreigners ; and when in 1863 the British and American 
Settlements were united, the Municipal Council, first 
elected in 1855, became the Municipal Council of the Settle- 
ment with the long name mentioned before. The Land 
Regulations were last amended in 1898, and, having re- 
ceived the assent of the foreign Ministers at Peking, are 
now the governing charter of the community. The elec- 
torate consists of all householders who pay rates on an 
assessed rental of Tls.500 a year, and owners of land valued 
at Tls.500. The French Municipality was organised in 
1862 ; the electorate consists of all owners of land, occu- 
pants paying a rental of 1,000 francs a year, and residents 
having an income of 4,000 francs a year ; and the Municipal 
Council is under the presidency of the French Consul-General, 
whose assent is necessary for the validity of its decisions. 
Under these forms of government the place has grown in 
wealth, the International Settlement, built up by British, 
American, and German enterprise, naturally more rapidly 
than the French. In the International Settlement in 1905 



the assessed value of the 5,584 acres contained therein 
was Tls.83,000,000,* representing a market value well over 
Tls. 100, 000, 000 ; on 2,471 foreign and 45,328 Chinese houses 
the assessed annual rental was Tls. 8, 350,000, representing 
an additional capital value of over Tls. 100, 000, 000. The 
assessed value of the 358 acres of land under the French 
Municipality in 1905 was Tls. 8, 500,000, and the assessed 
rental of houses was Tls. 1,145, 000. The soil on which 
the Settlement is built is described by a competent au- 
thority as consisting of " a water-logged highly micaceous 
sand of extreme fineness and of alluvial deposit and generally 
under pressure, with no more consistency than a quick- 
sand ; " and it says much for the enterprise of the com- 
munity that a modest beginning has been made in sky- 
scrapers of six storeys in height. 

When the foreign trader advanced his outpost from 
Canton to Shanghai, this, the chief mart of Central China, 
was to him North China, a fact preserved for posterity in 
the name of its oldest newspaper, the North-China Herald, 
with its daily edition, the North-China Daily News ; and 
the absence of good deep-water ports in the north has con- 
tinued to Shanghai its old-time function of distributing 
centre for North China as well as for the Yangtze basin. 
The commercial history of the port can be shown by figures 
better than by any narrative. 

Tonnage of Shipping Entered and Cleared 

1864. 1884. I9°4- 

British . . 
German . . 
Other foreign 
Chinese steam 

Total .. 

991,786 2,306,036 6,524,801 

548,175 544,032 394> 6 59 

116,945 105,458 1,614,027 

756 206,473 495,292* 

130,397 158,060 1,143,97° 

— 704,439 2,009,049 

1,788,059 4,024,498 12,181,798 

* Shanghai tael, worth less by 10 per cent, than the Haikwan 
tael in which the values of trade are expressed. 


It is important to show the distributing trade of Shanghai 
rather than its purely local trade, and this is brought out 
in the following figures : — 

Foreign Products Import 


Gross Imports. 


Net Imports. 




1859 . 

. 32,429,232 



1864 . 

. 30,522,183 



1874 . 

. 52,902,102 



1884 . 

. 47,158,013 



1894 . 

. 96,920,931 



1904 . 

. 196,905,998 


45,288,100 . 

1906 . 

• 227,535,546 

I52,563,39 6 


Chinese Produce Imported 

Gross Imports. 


Net Imports. 




1859 . 




1864 . 




1874 . 

. 36,734,241 



1884 . 

. 39454313 



1894 . 




1904 .. 




1906 . . 




Chinese Produce Exported 

riginal Exports. 






1859 . 

• 33,003,545 



1864 . 




1874 . 




1884 . 




1894 .. 




1904 .. 




1906 . . 




* Japane 

se tonnage in 1904 

reduced from 1,744,249 tons in 1903, 

owing to Rm 

sso- Japanese war. 

t The Yangtze and northern ports not having been opened to 

foreign shipp 

ing, re-exports thither did not pass through the Customs 

in 1859. 


Total Trade 








. . 32,429,232 




. . 58,064,248 




• • 89,636,343 




. . 86,612,326 




. . 150,282,278 




. . 324,876,826 




.. 342,959>6i5 



In the original exports from Shanghai in 1904, silk and 
its products figured for Tls.33,411,000, raw cotton for 
Tls. 16, 000, 000, cotton cloth from steam factories Tls. 747, 000, 
and from hand-looms Tls. 5, 920,000, factory-spun cotton 
yarn Tls.4,150,000, and rice Tls.5, 100,000. 


Chekiang, with an area of 36,700 square miles and a 
population estimated at 12,000,000, the northern end of 
the ancient Kingdom of Yueh, which extended along the 
coast from Canton to Shanghai, is divided by the Tsientang 
River, emptying into the sea between Hangchow and 
Shaohing, into a large southern section, generally moun- 
tainous, but with some considerable plains in its northern 
part, and a smaller northern section, almost entirely plain, 
deposited by the Yangtze. The plains of the northern 
section and of the northern part of the southern section 
are protected from incursions of the sea by well-built sea 
walls, starting from Hangchow and skirting both sides of 
the estuary of the Tsientang, with a total length of about 
250 miles. The Hangchow or Tsientang bore or eger, 
seen at its best opposite Haining, is among the wonders 
of the world, presenting the sight of a solid and almost 
perpendicular wall of water, 12 to 15 feet high, rushing 
into the estuary and up the river at a speed of 12 to 15 
miles an hour. The plain country, especially north of the 


Tsientang, is intersected by canals, including the Grand 
Canal, the southern starting-point of which is Hangchow ; 
all are on the same level, and freely intercommunicating, 
except those from Hangchow to Haining and intersecting 
the city of Hangchow, which are on a higher level. Being 
in China, where so much is topsy-turvy, the high-level 
canals adjoin the estuary of the Tsientang, in which the 
range of spring tides is 25-35 feet, and the low-level canals 
are inland. The principal products of the province are 
silk, tea, and cotton, and it contains three treaty ports. 

Hangchow (30 12' N., 120 12' E.), the provincial 
capital, and for a time the capital of the Southern Sung 
Empire (a.d. 1129-1280), was opened as a treaty port in 
1896. A centre of the silk industry, in which it surpassed 
Soochow, it shared the fate of other cities of the Yangtze 
plain during the Taiping rebellion, and has not yet fully 
recovered from the devastation it suffered at that time. 
Its present population is estimated at 350,000. As at 
Soochow, opened at the same time, an International Settle- 
ment with an area of 182 acres was set aside by the Chinese 
authorities and retained under their control, and alongside 
it was granted a Japanese concession of 120 acres. Some 
fifty miles from Hangchow is the mountain resort of Mokan- 
shan, with many summer cottages built by residents of 
Shanghai and other places. Trade communication outside 
the district is entirely with Shanghai, by a route following 
the Grand Canal and other inland waterways, and is main- 
tained by " trains " made up of passenger and cargo-boats 
towed by steam-launches. A considerable trade ends and 
originates in Hangchow, as shown by the following figures: — 




1898 . 
1904 . 

. 2,960,234 



Among the imports of 1904 cotton manufactures figured 
but little, the principal being tin (Tls. 197,000) kerosene 
oil (Tls. 699,000), matches (Tls.97,000), sugar (Tls. 1,710,000), 


beans (Tls. 795,000), bean-cake (Tls.275,000), bean-oil 
(Tls. 134, 000), wood-oil (Tls. 135,000), rape-seed (Tls. 11 1,000), 
and tobacco (Tls .418,000). Among exports the principal 
were cotton (Tls. 306,000), fans (Tls. 800,000), silk and its 
products (Tls. 3, 182,000), and tea (Tls. 4,245, 000). 

Ningpo (29 53' N., 121 33' E.) was visited by the 
Portuguese in 1522, but their traders were expelled in 1542. 
It was occupied by the British forces in 1841, and in 1842 
was declared a treaty port. Its population is estimated 
at 260,000. There is no foreign concession or reserved 
area, and police and roads are maintained at the cost and 
under the control of the Chinese authorities. There was in 
the early days some question whether Ningpo or Shanghai 
should become the commercial centre for trade at the 
mouth of the Yangtze, but the strong organisation of the 
Ningpo merchants in the guilds kept the trade of the port 
in their own hands, with the result that Shanghai took 
metropolitan rank. Ningpo is, and for fifty years has 
been commercially subsidiary to Shanghai, with which, 
almost alone, trade is carried on, communication being 
maintained by a daily steamer. The opening first of Wuhu, 
then of Hangchow, diverted a part of the trade from Ningpo. 
The course of trade is seen from the following figures : — 








. 10,264,616 




• 7,532,465 












. 13,296,271 



With so slight an expansion of values expressed in silver, 
obviously a non-progressive port. Among the imports of 
1904 the principal were cotton fabrics (Tls. 2, 950,000), 
cotton yarn (Tls. 533 ,000), tin (Tls. 1,300,000), kerosene oil 
(Tls. 561, 000), sugar (Tls. 1,529,000), and tobacco, including 
cigarettes (Tls. 312, 000). The chief exports were cotton 


(Tls. 1, 972,000), rush mats (Tls. 290,000), tea (Tls. 3,409,000), 
and fishery products (Tls. 339,000). 

Wenchow (28 1/ N., 120 40' E.), a city of 80,000 
inhabitants, is situated toward the south of Chekiang. A 
fairly clean and very picturesque city, intersected by canals, 
it reminds the visitor somewhat of Venice. There is no 
foreign settlement, and few foreign residents. It was 
opened as a treaty port in 1877, and has failed to develop 
a trade. In 1904 imports were valued at Tls. 1,523,480, 
including kerosene oil (Tls. 189, 000), and sugar (Tls. 137,000) ; 
and exports at Tls. 866, 905, including tea (Tls. 505,000) ; 
making a total trade of Tls. 2, 390,385. 


Fukien, with an area of 46,300 square miles and a 
population variously estimated from 8,000,000 (Ross, 1891) 
to 25,000,000 (Popoff, 1894), is essentially a mountainous 
province. The principal river is the Min, which, with its 
many branches, drains the greater part of the province, 
and has its mouth at Foochow. The valleys and foot-hills 
produce tea, sugar, opium, and food for the inhabitants, 
while from the mountains come timber, bamboos, and, 
in recent years, camphor. One of the most important 
industries is fishing, and the passenger on the mail steamer, 
out of sight of land or seeing only projecting headlands, 
will pass through fleets of thousands of fishing-boats, cockle- 
shells riding buoyantly on the waves of the stormiest piece 
of water in the world, the Formosa Channel. Supported 
mainly by the sea, with a rough and not particularly fertile 
hinterland, the people of the province are driven to emigrate 
in great numbers, and from Amoy, it is estimated, at least 
200,000 able-bodied men go every year to the Southern 
Seas. In Fukien are three treaty ports. 

Santuao (26 40' N., 119 40' E.), the " Haven of the 
Three Marts," has one of the finest harbors in the world, 
eminently suitable for a naval station ; and this, with the 
desire to protect it by quasi-neutralisation, led to its volun- 


tary opening in 1899. The port is shut off by mountains 
from all except a small distributing area, and the opening 
has produced but small effect on trade, the only visible 
result being that a quantity of tea, which formerly was 
carried by porters over the mountains to Foochow, now 
originates in Santuao, is shipped to Foochow for its old 
market, and is re-exported thence. In 1904 the imports 
by steamer were valued at Tls. 53,723 ; to exports, tea 
(110,772 piculs) contributed Tls. 1,936,000, and all other 
goods Tls.5,359. 

Foochow (25 59' N., 119 27' E.), the " City of Happi- 
ness," the provincial capital, has a population estimated 
at 625,000. It is situated on the Min River at a distance 
of thirty-four miles from the sea, and nine miles above 
Pagoda Anchorage, the highest point reached by steamers. 
At Pagoda is the Foochow Arsenal, a government dock and 
ship-building yard, partly destroyed by the French in 1884. 
Foochow was opened as a treaty port under the British 
treaty of 1842, but nothing was done to develop its trade 
until ten years later, when traders went there to secure 
the teas of Fukien, Kiangsi, and Anhwei, coming over the 
mountains to the port ; even after the opening of the 
Yangtze ports in 1861, tea continued to go to Foochow 
from the southern part of Anhwei. Foochow was opened 
before the period of residential concessions (1861), nor has 
it a settlement such as those at Shanghai, opened under 
the same treaty. The residential quarter is on the south 
side of the river, opposite the city, and its municipal organi- 
sation is of the inchoate form described under Chef 00. 
The resident foreign population of the district in 1905 was 
841, including 194 British, 163 American, and 349 Japanese. 
Foochow is an instance of a port which, as far as foreign 
interests are concerned, is decadent ; it depended mainly 
on one industry, tea, and, with a diminishing tea trade, 
its former prosperity has departed. In the following 
figures, after the export value is given in parentheses the 
quantities (in thousands of piculs) of shipments of tea, 
including in 1904 reshipments of tea received from Santuao. 









. . 7,134,000 

13,124,000 (487) 



. . 4,668,220 

15,406,672 (683) 



. . 5,038,689 

8,508,752 (680) 



. . 6,425,919 

7,025,013 (487) 



. . 10,048,966 

7,217,002 (293) 


These are the figures for the trade by steamer, to which 
in 1904, to get the total trade of the port, must be added 
the value of the junk trade, imports Tls. 3, 134, 173, exports 
Tls. 8, 316,932, total Tls. 11,451, 105. During the year 1904 
the principal imports, by steamer and junk, were cotton 
fabrics (Tls.810,000 for foreign, and Tls. 584,000 for native 
weaving), cotton yarn (Tls. 1,011,000), tin (Tls. 159, 000), 
kerosene oil (Tls. 747, 000), sugar (Tls.309,000), beans 
(Tls ,516,000), bean- and tea-oil (Tls. 475, 000), and wheat 
(Tls. 485, 000). The principal exports were tea (value, 
including Santuao tea, Tls .7, 117,000), soft-wood timber 
(Tls. 4,736,000), edible bamboo shoots (Tls .919,000), paper 
(Tls. 3, 612,000) ; among other noted products of the port 
are lacquered ware and ornaments carved from soapstone. 
Amoy (24 27' N., 118 5' E.), a city of 300,000 in- 
habitants on an island of the same name, serves as steamer 
port for the prefectures of Chuanchow (Chinchew) and 
Changchow. The outer anchorage offers good holding- 
ground, but is exposed to the south-west, while the inner 
harbor affords perfect shelter, except from typhoons which, 
getting in, are unable to find their way out. The inner 
harbor, with a width of a third to a half-mile, lies between 
Amoy, on which are the business offices, and the rocky 
island of Kulangsu, which constitutes the foreign residential 
quarter. The municipal organisation was of the headless 
and unsanctioned kind until 1903, when Kulangsu was 
made an International Settlement with powers of self- 
government, much on the Shanghai model. In 1899 a 
Japanese concession was marked out on the Amoy side, 
but has not been developed. At the upper end of the 



inner harbor is a graving dock, 300 feet long and 60 feet 
wide. The resident foreign population of the district in 
1905 was 1,912, including 364 British, 35 American, and 
1,426 Japanese. Amoy is one of the tea markets of China, 
the earlier shipments being mainly of Amoy Oolong ; this 
soon deteriorated in quality, and, as the export fell off, 
its place was taken by Formosa Oolong, the culture and 
preparation of which were introduced by Amoy tea-men, 
and which, even since the Japanese occupation of Formosa 
(1895), has continued to find its way to Amoy to be there 
blended, packed, and matted. The history of the trade in 
Oolongs is interesting, and may be read in the following 
figures of the quantities in piculs shipped from Amoy and 
from Tamsui respectively, the Tamsui output being entirely 
re-shipped to foreign countries, chiefly the United States. 

Amoy Teas. 




via Amoy. 


1864 . . 




1874 . . 








1894 . . 




1904 . . 








The following figures show the course of trade at Amoy, 
the value of exports including that of Formosa tea imported 
and re-exported : — 







1864 . 




1874 . 




1884 . 



i3,57 6 >° 82 

1894 . 




1904 . 




Among imports in 1904 the principal were cotton fabrics 
(Tls.797,000), cotton yarn (Tls. 1,509,000), tin (Tls. 208,000), 


bicho de mar (Tls. 138,000), flour (Tls. 505,000), matches 
(Tls. 130,000), kerosene oil (Tls. 589, 000), rice (Tls. 1,907, 000), 
beans (Tls. 964,000), and bean-cake (Tls. 1,192,000). Among 
exports tea from Formosa (Tls .4,025,000), constituted 
three-fifths of the whole ; other exports were paper 
(Tls.884,000), sugar (Tls.441,000), and tobacco (Tls. 324,000). 


Kwangtung, the " Eastern Broad," forms with Kwangsi, 
the " Western Broad," the Viceroyalty of Liang Kwang, 
the " Two Broads." Kwangtung is in the main a mountain- 
ous province, with two rich plains, one lying around Chao- 
chow (of which the port is Swatow), the other being the 
delta of the Pearl River, formed by the junction of the West 
River, flowing from Kwangsi, the North River, which flows 
from the watershed separating Kwangtung to the south 
from Kiangsi and Hunan to the north, and enters the West 
River at Samshui, and the East River, flowing from eastern 
Kwangtung and entering the deltaic system near Whampoa, 
the deep-water anchorage of Canton. Including the island 
of Hainan, administratively only a prefecture of Kwangtung, 
the area of the province is estimated at 100,000 square miles, 
and its population at 30,000,000. The people are sturdy 
and industrious, differing in this from other sub-tropical 
peoples, and are aggressive and independent. They are 
of two distinct races, the punti or indigenous, and the 
hakka or immigrants, intermingled but never coalescing 
or intermarrying, speaking dialects mutually unintelligible 
to each other, and frequently engaging in clan fights. From 
the eastern to the western extremity of its coast, a sailing 
course from headland to headland, not entering the inlets 
and not including Hainan, would measure nearly 700 
nautical miles. The people of this coast are hardy fisher- 
men, and, when occasion serves, bold pirates. The inland 
people of the country are industrious husbandmen, and in 
the cities is a laborious industrial population. The province 
produces great quantities of rice, and imports annually 


some half-million tons additional to supply the deficiency 
for its needs ; it also produces silk, good but inferior to 
that of Kiangsu and Chekiang ; tea, far inferior to its 
former quality ; matting, from a rush grown on the low 
islands of the delta coast ; cassia, from Loting ; ginger, from 
the north-west ; sugar, from the eastern parts of the pro- 
vince, from Leichow, and from Hainan ; fruits, from all 
parts ; and sub-tropical produce generally. The industries 
carried on in the cities are literally innumerable, but all 
such as can be carried on by one man and his immediate 
family working in his own shop or in his own home. In 
the province are six treaty ports, Swatow, Canton, Samshui, 
Kongmoon, Kiungchow and Pakhoi ; two customs stations, 
Kowloon and Lappa, to supervise the junk trade between 
China and Hongkong and Macao respectively ; and two 
ceded and one leased territories, Hongkong, Macao; and 
K wangcho wwan . 

Swatow (23 22' N., 116 40' E.), an unofficial town 
with a present population of 60,000, the port of Chaochow, 
the easternmost prefecture of Kwangtung, was opened 
to trade in i860. The anchorage is good, four miles up 
stream from Double Island, which lies as a breakwater 
across the mouth of the Han River. The foreign com- 
munity lives partly on the north, and partly on the south 
side of the river, with the business offices on the north side, 
and they have no municipal organisation. The people of 
the Chaochow prefecture, commonly called the Swatow 
men, are very clannish, holding themselves apart even 
from their co-provincials the Cantonese, and are well- 
organised and closely united in every place in the Empire 
to which trade has called them ; and on many occasions 
they have successfully resisted attempts to impose more 
stringent conditions upon them (such as lower prices for 
their products, higher freights, special clauses in a bill of 
lading, etc.) by united guild action, proceeding even on 
occasion to the extreme measure of a boycott or of ab- 
stention from all trade. The district is a large importer 
of beans and bean-cake, and, though rice-producing, of rice 


as well ; its staple exports are sugar and tobacco. The 
following figures show the course of trade : — 







1864 . 

• 6,399,786 



1874 . 

. 11,057,659 



1884 . 

. 12,385,969 



1894 . 

. 19,424,841 



1904 .. 34,615,923 14,664,863 49,280,786 

The large excess of imports introduced into this self- 
contained district is striking, and is explained by the value 
of an export not recorded in ordinary statistics of trade, 
that of the hardy and industrious coolies who emigrate in 
thousands for short-term service in the islands of the Malay 
Archipelago. Among imports in 1904 the principal were 
cotton fabrics (Tls. 2, 146,000), cotton yarn (Tls.3,699,000), 
tin (Tls. 645, 000), flour (Tls 312,000), matches (Tls. 256,000), 
kerosene oil (Tls.738,000), rice (Tls. 7,422, 000), beans 
(Tls.2, 525, 000), bean -cake t ( Tls. 5,432,000), hemp (Tls. 696,000), 
and wheat (Tls. 343, 000). The principal exports were 
sugar (Tls. 6,050,000), tobacco (Tls. 866, 000), grass-cloth 
(Tls.837,000), and paper (Tls. 1,749, 000). 

Canton (23 f N., 113 16' E.), the provincial capital, 
is styled the " City of Rams," from the legend of the five 
Immortals who rode into the city on five rams in the time 
of the Chow Dynasty (b.c. 1122-255) ; the rams were 
turned into stone and are there to-day as visible evidence 
of the truth of the tale. The name of the city is Kwangchow, 
Canton being the Portuguese rendering of the name of the 
province, Kwangtung. The estimates of the population 
have ranged from 500,000 to 2,500,000, the figure now 
generally accepted being 900,000. The foreign residents 
in the district in 1905 were 1,437, including 225 British, 
484 American, 65 German, 158 French, 140 Japanese, and 
334 Portuguese. In the early years of trade the merchants 
lived in the " Factories,' ' surrounded by unsavory Chinese 
streets, and this continued after Canton was made a treaty 


port in 1842 ; they were driven away in 1856, and on their 
return in 1857 found their houses in ruins. The head houses 
of the firms were then generally established in Hongkong, 
and, in foreign trade, Canton became a mere commercial 
dependency of the British colony. At Canton the " factory " 
sites were abandoned, and in 1859 a new residential quarter 
was created by embanking and reclaiming Shameen, a mud 
flat about half a mile long and a fifth of a mile wide in its 
widest part, situated at the south-west corner of the city. 
Of this reclamation four-fifths were assigned as the British 
concession and one-fifth as the French concession ; and 
here, surrounded by a wide moat with guarded bridges, 
the foreign community lives, somewhat restricted for space, 
but self-governing on the model of the corresponding con- 
cessions at Tientsin. This completes the list of the old-time 
foreign concessions, all dating from 1859-61 — Newchwang, 
Tientsin, Hankow, Kiukiang, Chinkiang and Canton. The 
city and suburbs of Canton form a buzzing hive of workers, 
and few sights in the world are more instructive, to the 
sociologist and ethnologist, than a mere cursory trip in a 
sedan-chair through the narrow, crowded, reeking, and 
malodorous streets, in which the busy throng, hustling, 
shouting, and pushing, yet manages to disentangle itself by 
some rule of the road imperceptible to the insight of the 
mere Westerner, and where a shop, filled with priceless 
treasures of antiquity or with the dainty work of ivory 
carvers and silk embroiderers, stands cheek by jowl with 
a shop in which an artisan carries on some primitive handi- 
craft with the implements and by the methods employed 
by his progenitors a thousand years ago. Even the hasty 
globe-trotter, who allots from his tour three days to India 
and three hours to the Empire of China, may profitably 
employ those three hours in such a trip, and feel that his 
time has not been wasted ; and as he steams back to Hong- 
kong he will have the history of half a century of foreign 
relations recalled to his mind by the sight of the stately 
Roman Catholic cathedral erected by the French on the 
site of the Viceroy's Palace, destroyed in 1857 by the 


allied forces, who then occupied Canton, as a reminder of 
the wanton destruction of foreign property in the preceding 
year. The early history of the trade of Canton is the 
history of the foreign trade of China, and is treated in that 
chapter. In 1842, by the British treaty of Nanking, Canton 
lost its monopoly of trade, and the produce of the country 
was allowed to find its outlet where best it could by any 
one of the four other ports — Shanghai, Ningpo, Foochow, 
and Amoy — then opened to trade ; and when, in 1861, 
the Yangtze ports and Swatow were thrown open, Canton 
was absolutely restricted to its own producing and supply 
district. Since that time the course of trade is shown by 
the following figures, the value of silk and its products (in 
millions of taels) being put in parentheses after the value 
of the export trade : — 







i860 . 

. 13,061,230 




1864 . 

. 2,393,085 




1874 . 





1884 . 

. 11,886,781 




1894 . 

. 27,385,876 




1904 . 

. 52,885,637 




It will be convenient to consider here the status of the 
two supervising stations for the junk trade with Hongkong 
and Macao, the stations of Kowloon and Lappa. 

The foreign colonies of Hongkong and Macao being 
free ports, with no Customs duties or supervision to trammel 
their trade, the preventive measures necessary to check 
smuggling were obviously imposed on the Chinese authori- 
ties alone. Smuggling was easy, and, easy or difficult, the 
habit is ingrained in the Chinese character. Macao was 
on the mainland, Hongkong (the original cession) was 
separated by a short mile of water from Chinese territory, 
and smugglers by water from either had their choice of a 
score of routes by which to reach a profitable market. 
Opium and salt were the principal subjects of the traffic, 
opium because of the great value and high duty attaching 


to a small bulk, and salt because of the strictness with 
which the government monopoly is preserved in China ; 
but smugglers do not in China despise the profits from 
evading the incidence of a tariff based upon a 5 per cent, 
levy, and smuggling was universal. The Chinese authori- 
ties were driven to adopt some preventive measures, and 
the result was the so-called " blockade of Hongkong," a 
preventive cordon instituted in 1868 and maintiained by 
cruisers under the control of the native authorities of 
Canton. The situation, with lax native control, became 
intolerable in the eyes of those who would maintain the 
absolute freedom of those free ports ; and in the Additional 
Article of 1885 to the Chefoo Agreement of 1876 between 
Great Britain and China, it was provided that the measures 
for the repression of the smuggling, stipulated in the Agree- 
ment, should be considered at once. The Chinese Customs 
Stations of Kowloon and Lappa then, in 1887, came into 
existence, and, to avoid the irregularities which had marked 
the old regime, were placed under the control of the In- 
spectorate General of Customs. These establishments have 
their head offices in the respective colonies, Hongkong and 
Macao, for the mutual convenience of all concerned ; but 
the supervising and collecting stations and the preventive 
cruisers are echelonned outside ; when the boundaries of 
the British colony were enlarged in 1899, tne Kowloon 
Customs Stations were pushed further out, so as to be in 
Chinese waters and on Chinese soil. These offices control 
the junk traffic from Chinese ports, mainly in the Canton 
district, to Hongkong and Macao ; and the value of the 
trade passing their stations, added to the value of the trade 
passing the Canton Customs, given above, may fairly 
represent the collective trade of the Canton delta. This 
collective trade has been as follows : — 

Imports. Exports. Total. 

Tls. Tls. Tls. 

1887 . . 29,186,636 31,656,019 60,842,655 

1894 •• 53792,843 41,607,808 95,400,651 

1904 .. 92,650,896 65,102,878 157753774 


The principal imports into the delta through the three offices 
in 1904 were cotton yarn (Tls. 4,171, 000), flour (Tls. 1,133,000), 
kerosene oil (Tls. 3, 834,000), rice (Tls. 11,423,000), sesamum 
seed (Tls. 2,763, 000), and sugar (Tls. 1,276,000). The princi- 
pal exports were silk and its products (Tls. 31, 420,000), 
cassia (Tls. 1,233,000), eggs (Tls. 509, 000), fans (Tls. 572, 000), 
leather (Tls. 601, 000), straw mats (Tls. 929, 000), matting 
(Tls. 3, 369,000), paper (Tls. 1,234,000), and tobacco 
(Tls. 1,605,000). Tea, which in i860, with shipment of 
263,264 piculs, contributed 50 per cent, to the value of the 
export trade of Canton in that year, in 1904 contributed 
(53> 2 5° piculs) less than 2 per cent, to the value of the 
exports passing the three offices. 

Samshui (23 6' N., 112 53' E.), " Three Waters," an 
unimportant city of 5,000 inhabitants, situated at the 
junction of the West and North Rivers, was opened as a 
treaty port in 1897. It was expected to tap all the North 
River trade and much of that by the West River, but the 
hopes entertained have not been realised. In 1904 imports 
were valued at Tls. 1,828,935 and exports at Tls. 1,217,873, 
a total of Tls. 3, 046, 808. The principal export was paper 
(Tls. 231,000). 

Kongmoon (22 35' N., 113 9' E.), " River-mouth," a 
city of 35,000 inhabitants, situated on a side creek of the 
delta near the mouth of the westernmost branch of the 
network of rivers, distant 70 miles steaming from Canton, 
Sy miles from Hongkong, and 45 miles from Macao, was 
opened as a treaty port in 1904. The object of its 
opening was to tap the trade of the western part of the 
delta and of the district lying west of it, and a measurable 
degree of success has been obtained. Not including the 
trade by junk to and from Hongkong and Macao, 
which is included in the statistics of the Kowloon and 
Lappa stations, the value of the trade by steamer and 
junk in 1905, the year following the opening, was imports 
Tls. 3,082, 954, exports Tls.3,794,676, total Tls. 6,877,630. 
The principal exports were palm-leaf fans, straw mats, and 



Kiungchow (20° i' N., no° i6' E.), the prefectural city 
of the island of Hainan, contains a population of 35,000, 
and is situated 3 miles inland from Hoihow (" Seaport ") 
its port. Its opening as a treaty port was stipulated in the 
treaties of 1858, but, as none of the mercantile community 
had any interest in it, the actual opening was deferred 
until 1876. The port serves the trade of Hainan and of 
the prefecture of Leichow on the mainland, across the 
Straits of Hainan, 12 miles wide. Hoihow, the port, has a 
population of 25,000, and the anchorage is a roadstead open 
to the Straits from north-east around to north-west, and 
accessible to cargo-boats loading and discharging only at 
high water of the one daily tide which rises here as in the 
whole of the Gulf of Tonkin. The course of trade has 
been as follows : — 











1894 . 




1904 . 

- 2,548,725 



The principal exports in 1904 were pigs (65,306 valued at 
Tls. 881,631), sugar (Tls. 507,000) and betel-nuts (Tls. 120,000). 
Pakhoi (21 29' N., 109 7' E.), " North of the Sea," 
a dirty, insanitary town of 20,000 inhabitants, situated at 
the head of the Gulf of Tonkin, is the seaport of Limchow, 
13 miles distant, and was opened as a treaty port in 1877. 
In common with other ports on the Gulf it has but one tide 
in the twenty-four hours. The district directly served by 
it is poor and sandy, producing sugar, indigo, and ground- 
nuts, with fishing and piracy as bye industries ; and the 
chief hope for any development of trade lay in the use of 
the port as a side door through which to evade the fiscal 
obstructions imposed on the natural routes to Yunnan and 
Western Kwangsi, viz. the Red River through Tonkin and 
the West River through Tonkin. The figures for the trade 
of Pakhoi given below are for years which have been selected 
to show the paralysing effect of the Chinese system of 


internal taxation, driving trade from natural water routes 
to a channel by which expensive transport over hill roads 
must be substituted ; and they must be considered with 
reference to the following dates : — 

^1884 (seven years after opening of port), French occu- 
pation of Tonkin transformed the frontier from an internal 
to an external boundary. 

1889, the opening of Mengtsz and relaxation of fiscal 
restrictions in Tonkin restored the Red River to its natural 
use as a trade route to Yunnan. 

1897, the opening of Wuchow as a treaty port, carrying 
the one-duty privilege into Kwangsi and neutralising the 
likin barriers of Kwangtung, made the West River avail- 
able through its entire course as route to Yunnan and 
Western Kwangsi. 


Annual Average in 





Shirtings, Yards 


Fine cottons ,, 

Cotton yarn, Piculs 

Long Ells, Pieces 



















Total value of all 
cotton and wool- 
len goods. . Tls. 





The value of the trade of Pakhoi in 1904 was, imports 

Tls. 1, 892, 235, exports Tls. 1,122,423, total Tls. 3,014,658. 

The exports included sugar (Tls. 296,000) and indigo 

Cessions in Kwangtung 

There are no less than three areas in Kwangtung ceded 
to foreign powers under different conditions — Macao to 
Portugal, Hongkong to Great Britain, and Kwangchowwan 
to France. 

Macao (22 11/ N., 113 33' E.) was first occupied 


by the Portuguese in 1557, after their traders and trading 
ships had been driven away from Ningpo and Foochow. 
Here for three centuries they held under conditions which 
were never clearly defined, one side contending that it was 
by right of conquest and occupation, the other disputing 
this and maintaining Chinese taxing stations within the 
colony itself : the one indisputable fact being that the 
Portuguese Government paid to the Viceroy at Canton a 
rent of Tls.500 in every year up to 1848. In that year the 
Portuguese authorities refused to continue to pay the rent, 
and expelled from the colony the Chinese taxing stations 
and all other signs of Chinese authority. The sovereignty 
of Portugal was recognised finally by China in the treaty 
of 1887. The Portuguese and Dutch trading ships fre- 
quented the port in the seventeenth century, the English 
came there in the eighteenth century, and the English 
and American in the first half of the nineteenth century, 
making usually their final departure from Macao ; and 
when, in 1839 and again in 1856, the merchants were 
driven from their factories at Canton, it was in Macao that 
they found refuge. The cession of Hongkong to the British 
in 1842 and its development from 1856 gave a final blow 
to the decadent legitimate trade of Macao, and from that 
time its prosperity depended mainly upon the coolie traffic, 
until the Portuguese Government suppressed it in 1874. 
The Chinese Customs Station of Lappa (vide anted) was estab- 
lished in 1887 to control the trade by junk between Macao 
and Chinese ports. Macao occupies a small peninsula 
connected by a narrow isthmus with Chinese territory, 
and the cession includes two islands, Taipa and Kolowan, 
dominating the harbor. The population on December 31, 
1899, was 63,991, composed of 3,780 Portuguese, 154 other 
foreigners, and 60,057 Chinese. 

Hongkong (22 18' N., 114 io' E.), " Fair Haven," 
was formally occupied by the British authorities by a 
notification published on May 1, 1841, and its cession was 
recognised by China in the treaty of Nanking, the ratifica- 
tions of which were exchanged at Hongkong on June 26, 


1843. The Royal Charter creating the colony was dated 
April 5, 1843. The original cession included only the 
island of Hongkong, with an area of 29 square miles. North 
of this, between it and the mainland, is the fair haven of 
Hongkong, one of the few harbors in the world which may 
be called perfect, the eastern entrance being 600 yards wide, 
and the western entrance fully as wide, but protected by 
outlying islands, while the anchorage has a general width 
of a mile. The Kowloon peninsula, with an area of about 
two square miles, projecting towards the harbor on its north 
side, was added to the cession in i860. The northern side 
of the harbor was dominated through its whole extent, 
except for the Kowloon peninsula, by Chinese territory ; 
and in 1899 the " Kowloon Extension," with 376 square 
miles on the mainland, was added to the colony by a lease 
from the Chinese Government for ninety-nine years, the lease 
including also the large island of Lantao and the waters to 
the farther shores of Mirs Bay and Deep Bay. Hongkong 
has been a busy mart, especially since 1856, and has filled 
for the ports of South China the function of distributing 
centre, filled for North China and the Yangtze basin by 
Shanghai ; of the collective foreign trade of the whole of 
China it may, with a fair degree of certainty, be said that 
one-fourth of the imports and one-third of the exports are 
financed and distributed through Hongkong, the balance 
being handled by Shanghai or, to a small extent, directly 
by subsidiary ports. This cannot be supported by re- 
ference to the statistics of Hongkong, since the colony 
publishes no statistics of trade ; and the only statistics it 
publishes — those of shipping — are misleading, since they 
include coasting trade to places often only a few miles 
away. Hongkong was formally declared a free port on 
February 6, 1842, and a free port it has remained ever 
since, subject only to the aid it has given, since 1887, to 
the Chinese Government in the prevention of smuggling in 
opium. The Chinese Customs Station of Kowloon (vide anted) 
was established in 1887 to control the trade by junk between 
Hongkong and Chinese ports. A garrison of about 4,000 


is maintained in the colony, and the resident civilian 
population in 1906 was 319,803, composed of 307,388 
Chinese, 6,085 British and other Europeans and Americans, 
and 5,902 other foreigners. Of the Chinese 216,240 were 
males and 91,148 were females. 

Kwangchowwan (2i° i' N., no° 25' E.) is one of the 
four cessions on lease made in the period after the China- 
Japan war, the four, with dates of first occupation, being 
Kiaochow (Germany, November 14, 1897), Port Arthur 
and Talien (Russia, March 27, 1898), Kwangchowwan 
(France, April 22, 1898) and Weihaiwei (Great Britain, 
May 24, 1898). The Bay of Kwangchow has a good 
anchorage, but with a difficult entrance through sand-banks ; 
and access to Kwangsi by rail will be possible over a not 
too difficult country. The French authorities have taken 
no steps to develop the legitimate trade of the colony, and, 
apart from the smuggling incidental to a free port, the 
chief use of the cession has, so far, been to advance the 
French flag so much the farther to the east and the nearer 
to the mouth of the Canton river. 


Kwangsi, with an area of 78,000 square miles and a 
population of which the highest estimate is 9,000,000 
(Alabaster, 1902), is in its central and eastern part at a 
general altitude of 500 to 800 feet above the sea, and slopes 
upward towards the mountains of the north and west, heights 
of 6,000 to 8,000 feet. It includes the drainage basin of the 
West River, the affluents of which converge, as the fingers 
of the hand converge to the wrist, to their outlet at Wuchow, 
the waters then flowing for a short distance in one channel 
through Kwangtung until, at Samshui, they again diverge 
to form the channels of the Canton delta. Proceeding up 
the West River, to the west, it is known by that name as 
far as Sunchow (Tamchow in local dialect), where it is 
bifurcated into the North and South Rivers. The North 
River receives several important affluents, but slightly 
navigable, and is itself navigable for some distance by boats 


of 20 tons capacity. The South River is often also called 
the West River (constituting, as it does, the main trade 
route) up to a point 30 miles above Nanning, where it is 
bifurcated into the Left Branch leading to Lungchow, and 
the Right Branch leading to Poseh, whence is a main trade 
route into Yunnan, by which the trade with Hongkong 
and Canton via Wuchow and via Pakhoi finds its way ; 
Poseh is accessible to large native craft, of perhaps 30 tons 
capacity, navigated through the many rapids with great 
skill. The fall of the river from Poseh to Wuchow, about 
500 miles, is 800 feet. Entering the system at Wuchow is 
the Cassia River, running south from the provincial capital, 
Kweilin, from the head waters of which a small canal gives 
access to the head waters of the Hsiang River, flowing 
through Hunan into the Yangtze. The people are a riotous 
lot, considering brigandage and rebellion the natural con- 
comitants of a bad harvest ; it was in Kwangsi that the 
Taiping rebellion took its rise, and the latest of the re- 
bellions of China was that of Kwangsi 1902-5. Its natural 
products are not important, with the exception of aniseed, 
of which the province has almost a world monopoly ; it 
comes from two districts, one lying around Poseh, the 
other, giving oil of better quality, lying across the Tonkin 
frontier between Lungchow and Langson. In minerals 
the province offers great, but as yet unproved, possibilities. 
A geologist has stated, though not with the sense of re- 
sponsibility attaching to a report, that within one square 
mile he found by boring coal, iron, copper, and lead, a 
richness probably unsurpassed by many individual square 
miles in the world. These minerals are all known to exist, 
as well as gold, silver, antimony, asbestos, bismuth, etc. 
Timber is cut on the mountains of the north-west. In the 
province are two treaty ports. 

Wuchow (23 20/ N., in° 20' E.), a city of 65,000 in- 
habitants, opened as a treaty port in 1897, is well placed 
for its purpose. Its treaty port status enables the trader 
to carry his goods, import or export, past the numerous and 
vexatious likin barriers of Kwangtung ; and at Wuchow 


he commands the waterways of the province, all of which 
converge to that point. The development of the steamer 
traffic is shown by the following figures : — 

Imports. Exports. 


Tls. Tls. 


1898 .. 2,976,807 1,244,951 


1904 . . 7,806,436 3,277,791 


In addition the value of the trade by junk 

was — 

Imports. Exports. 


Tls. Tls. 


1904 .. 882,758 9>3I5,039 


making the total trade of the port in 

1904 amount to . . 


Of the total foreign import by steamer in 1904 entitled to 
them, with a value of Tls. 7, 487, 289, no less than 80 per 
cent, was sent inland under transit passes, thereby escaping 
likin taxation, 13 per cent, within the province, 59 per cent, 
into Kweichow, and 8 per cent, into Yunnan. In 1904 the 
principal exports were aniseed and aniseed-oil (Tls.410,000), 
cattle (11,126 valued at Tls. 25 1,000), poultry (Tls. 351, 000), 
and hides (Tls. 591, 000). 

Lungchow (22 22 7 N., 106 45' E.), " Dragon City," 
is of the type of frontier port which will be described under 
Mengtsz. It was opened to foreign trade in 1889 in the 
hope that the trade of Western Kwangsi might pass through 
it to Tonkin, by the railway which it was the intention of 
the French Government to promote. The railway, built 
in Tonkin, has not been extended beyond the frontier over 
the 40 miles of much accidented country which intervene 
between it and Lungchow, and the trade which it was to 
attract continues to find its way to Canton, by a river 
journey of 800 miles. The Customs officials stationed 
there find little to do except to admire the picturesque 
scenery, the value of the trade in 1905 being, imports 
Tls. 163,330, exports Tls. 67, 122, total Tls. 230,452. The 
principal imports were timber and dye-yams, and the 


principal export, other than opium, was American kerosene 
oil which had come up the river from Canton. 

Nanning (22 48' N., 108 15' E.), a city of about 
100,000 inhabitants, situated about 30 miles below the 
junction of the Right and Left Branches of the main (southern) 
stream of the West River, is the commercial centre for 
south-western Kwangsi, and a forwarding depot for the 
West River route to Yunnan. That portion of the Yunnan 
and Kwangsi traffic which passes through Pakhoi con- 
verges on this point. The opening of Nanning to foreign 
trade has been under consideration for some time, and it 
was opened voluntarily by China, as a " trade mart " on 
January 1, 1907. The Municipal Government will, it is 
announced, be of the type adopted at Yochow. 


Yunnan, " South of the Clouds," is an elevated plateau 
of bright sunshine, lying south of cloud-covered and foggy 
Szechwan. It was the last of the Eighteen Provinces to 
be assimiliated by the Empire, its direct government by 
China dating only from the time of Kublai Khan (a.d. 1260), 
through whose conquest Yunnan was annexed and his 
suzerainty over Burma, Annam, and Cambodia reaffirmed. 
The area is put at about 145,000 square miles, and the 
estimates of the population range from 6,000,000 (Popoff, 
1894) to 10,000,000 (Tiberii, 1902). The Panthay rebellion 
in 1867, occasioned by an attempt on the part of the 
Mohammedan population to set up a government of their 
own, was suppressed with great difficulty and with ruthless 
slaughter ; and this brought in its train the bubonic plague, 
which was for many years endemic in Yunnan (at Mengtsz 
with a resident population of 12,000 nearly 1,000 deaths 
are said to have occurred in each of the years 1892 to 1896), 
was first seen by European surgeons at Pakhoi in 1882, 
and reached Hongkong and the outer world in 1894. These 
causes for a reduction in the population, combined with 
the ungrateful nature of the soil, would lead to the accept- 
ance of the lower figure. Yunnan is decidedly mountainous. 


The western part is covered with mountain chains rising 
to heights through which the passes are over 8,000 feet in 
altitude, with steep slopes running north and south, the 
valleys containing rivers with great volumes of water, 
formed by the rains and melted snows of Himalayan ranges, 
rushing down through rocky beds which themselves are 
several thousand feet above the level of the sea. The 
greater part of the eastern portion has been described 
as "an elevated broken plateau, having an average height 
of 5,000 feet " ; but this " plateau " is so broken up that 
the plains cannot be discerned, and the mountains are the 
most distinguishing feature. The waterways are unavail- 
able for transport within the province, acting with their 
deep valleys rather as barriers to trade ; and the paucity 
of the population forbids the use of human porters, making 
the pack-mule and horse, supplemented on emergency by 
pack-cattle, the only agency of transportation. The water 
outlets from the province begin only on its borders, and 
those available for the major operations of trade are three : 
the Red River from the southern border into Tonkin, to 
be supplemented by the railway now under construction 
to Yunnanfu, the provincial capital ; the West River from 
the eastern border, leading to Canton and Hongkong ; and 
the Yangtze from the northern border, leading down to 
Hankow and Shanghai. Of the agricultural products of 
the province, the only one deserving attention is opium, 
which is considered in the chapter on that drug, and which 
is the principal means by which Yunnan pays for the 
imports which it consumes. The chief wealth of the pro- 
vince is in its minerals, of which there are known to exist 
cinnabar, coal, copper, gold, iron, lead, orpiment, salt, 
silver, tin, and zinc. The mining industry was severely 
crippled by the Panthay rebellion, but prior to that date, 
though iron ore is the most abundant, copper was mined 
on a much larger scale in order to provide for the require- 
ments of the mints of the Empire, which formerly were 
almost entirely dependent upon the Yunnan mines for 
their needs, which may be put at about 6,000 tons annually. 


Argentiferous lead ranks next in importance, of which over 
twenty mines were known. Tin comes from Kochiu, about 
20 miles from Mengtsz, from which port 4,500 tons 
were exported in 1905. Coal, though known to exist, has 
not been mined to any considerable extent. The salt 
produced in the province supplies its own population. 
Along the southern and western frontier of the province are 
three treaty ports. 

Mengtsz (23 24/ N., 103 22' E.), population 12,000, may 
be taken to illustrate the frontier port, and is the only one 
of the four now open which has developed a trade worthy 
of consideration. Situated at an altitude of 4,500 feet, it 
is 40 miles distant from its junk port, Manhao (altitude 
900 feet) on the Red River, which again is six days' junk 
journey above Hokow ; this last place on the Yunnan side, 
opposite to Laokay on the Tonkin side of the frontier, was 
in 1895 made the first sub-port of entry for the Mengtsz 
district. Before the building of railways, the course for 
imports from Haiphong during the summer floods was by 
steamer to Laokay, and during the winter by steamer to 
Yenbay, thence by native craft up the rapids to Laokay ; 
thence by native craft to Manhao ; thence by pack-animal 
to Mengtsz, and so on for distribution through the 
province, each pack-animal taking an average load of 
160 lbs. Mengtsz was opened as a treaty port in 
1889, with the special stipulation, not applying to coast 
and riverine ports, that imports should pay only seven- 
tenths and exports only six-tenths of the tariff duty ; 
moreover, when the revised Import Tariff was put in 
force in 1902, it was held that the old tariff, with its 
lower duties, was still to be applied to the frontier 
ports. Transit dues, being half the tariff duty, are, however, 
based on the undiminished rate, and it is chiefly to avoid 
the Chinese inland taxation that the trade of Mengtsz, in 
particular, has been developed ; of the imports in 1904 
nearly 74 per cent, continued their journey under transit 
pass, one-sixth of this transit trade adopting this round- 
about way for Kweichow. The opening of Wuchow (1897) 



produced no effect on the trade of Mengtsz, as shown by 
the following figures, the percentage of imports going 
inland under transit pass being given in parentheses after 
the import values : — 






. . 1,241,879 (92) 

.. 3,373,641 (85) 
-. 6,063,777 (74) 





The principal import in 1904 was cotton yarn 
(Tls. 3, 732, 000), and the principal exports were opium 
(Tls. 1, 332, 000) and tin (Tls. 3, 187,000). Of the imports 
86 per cent, were declared from Hongkong in bond through 
Tonkin, and 14 per cent, from Tonkin ; of the exports 
70 per cent, were declared for Hongkong, and 30 per cent, 
(including opium Tls. 1,332, 000 out of Tls. 1,404,000) for 
Tonkin . 

Szemao (22 47' N., 101 2' E.), also called Esmok, with 
a population of 15,000, at an altitude of 4,700 feet, is situated 
in the south-west corner of Yunnan at a distance of eighteen 
days' pack-animal journey from Mengtsz and from Yunnanfu, 
six days from the French Laos frontier, and twelve days 
from the British Shan frontier. The transport is solely. 
by pack-animals. The port was opened in 1896, and the 
value of its trade in 1904 was, imports Tls. 221, 753, exports 
Tls. 45, 230, total Tls. 266,983. The principal import was 
cotton, and there were no exports distinguished above 

Tengyueh (24 45' N., 98 15' E.), with a population of 
10,000, lies at an altitude of 5,500 feet. Situated on the 
western border of Yunnan, it is seven days' pack-animal 
journey from Bhamo in Burma, and twenty-four days 
from Yunnanfu, by a road crossing a succession of mountain 
passes rising at times to 8,000 feet, and dipping into valleys 
some as low as 2,500 feet above the sea. The opening of 
Tengyueh, attempted in 1900, was accomplished in 1902, 
and in 1904 its trade was, imports Tls. 1,747,820, exports 


Tls.337,684, total Tls.2,085,504. The principal imports 
were cotton fabrics (Tls.393,000), cotton yarn (Tls. 849, 000), 
and raw cotton (Tls. 184,000) ; the principal export 
was yellow silk (Tls.224,000). Of the imports 74 per cent, 
went inland under transit pass, three-fourths to Yunnan 
points, and one-fourth across the whole width of Yunnan 
in Szechwan and Kweichow. 


Tibet contains one treaty port, Yatung (28 N., 89 E.), 
with no inhabitants and collecting no revenue. The value 
of the trade passing there in 1903 (before trade was inter- 
rupted by the advance of the British Mission of 1904) 
was, imports Tls.343,020, exports Tls.343,662, total 
Tls. 686,682. 



The records of the foreign trade of China in olden time are 
obscure, and the proper elucidation of that trade would 
require a special treatise to discuss the routes by which the 
silks of China reached the Roman Empire, following pre- 
sumably the Central Asian caravan routes which were later 
followed by the Polo brothers and their nephew Marco 
Polo ; the routes by which the Arabs came by sea to trade 
during the Tang (a.d. 618-907) and Sung (a.d. 960-1127) 
Dynasties ; and the routes followed by the Chinese them- 
selves in trading with the islands of the Southern Sea, to 
which the north-east monsoon of winter carried their junks 
laden with the products of their own land, while the south- 
west monsoon of summer brought them back in surety 
with the spices of the tropics. It is sufficient for the purpose 
of this chapter to trace the progressive steps by which the 
trade of China was developed by European nations. 

The Portuguese were the discoverers of the East, as 
the Spanish were of the West, and the first recorded arrival 
of a European ship in China was that of Raphael Perestrello, 
who sailed from Malacca about 151 1. Six years later, in 
1 5 17, Fernando Perez de Andrade entered Canton waters 
with a squadron of four Portuguese and four Malay ships, 
and was well received by the local officials, then as ever 
quite ready to encourage trade, and was allowed to proceed 
in person to Peking. His brother Simon arrived in the 
following year, and so conducted himself that he was 
driven off the coast, while Fernando was put in prison 
in Peking, ultimately losing his life. Other ships arrived 












MILLION 32 30 




1864 1 

26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 


1 "1186 4 


6 4 2 O 2 

T I I ■!' ' i '1 I I I I "H 

6 8 10 12 14 16 

20 22 24 26 28 30 MILLION 



1904 L" 

rrrr , i884 











1904 ■ 
MILLION 170 160 150 140 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 6 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 



} 1894 

1 1903 

90 100 HO 120 130 140 150 160 170 ISO MILLION 


and initiated trade at Ningpo (where a regular '* factory " 
or trading-post, was established), Foochow, and Amoy 
while three posts were established near Canton, one being 
at Macao. The general conduct of the Portuguese was in 
keeping with the attitude maintained at that time by all 
Christian nations toward the heathen, probably intensified 
by the difficulty of getting the better of Chinese traders in 
a bargain, and the Imperial order went out to slay them 
This was done effectively in the north, 800 losing their 
lives at Nmgpo, and the Portuguese concentrated at Macao 
where they were allowed to settle in 1557 on payment 
of Tls.500 annually as rent ; in 1573 the Chinese shut in 
the settlement by a wall, and in 1587 established a civil 
magistracy to rule the Chinese inhabitants and collect all 
dues of the government : both endured until 1848. Several 
Portuguese embassies went, or attempted to go to Peking ■ 
the first, accompanying de Andrade in 1517, was stopped 
at Canton ; the second, in 1552, was stopped by the Portu- 
guese Governor at Malacca ; a third in 1667 reached Peking 
but accomplished nothing ; a fourth in 1727 was graciously 
receded at Court, but secured no tangible advantages 
and the same result attended a fifth in 1753 After the 
assertion of the independence of Macao in 1848 political 
relations became strained, and, with one exception' (Mexico) 
Portugal was the last of the Western powers to secure (in 
1887) a treaty of amity and commerce with the Imperial 
Government. F 

. / he f ^. ANISH ^ ere the next t0 enter into the foreign 
trade of China. They had entered the East from the West 
through the Philippines in 1543, by reason of the decision 
of the Borgian court of delimitation ; and their first visit 
to China was in 1575, when they were well received at 
Canton. A diplomatic mission started for Peking in is8o 
but was detained at Canton and sent back to Manila ■ this 
was the last embassy until 1847, and the first treaty was 
made m 1864 The development of the Spanish trade with 

FnTrT 8 f ,*? the C ^ n6Se tKldin S between Ma *Ua and 
Fukien ports (Amoy, Chinchew, etc.), and the Chinese 


population of Manila increased so fast, became so influential, 
and showed so much independence, that in 1602 the 
Spaniards instituted a general massacre, and killed most 
of the 20,000 Chinese immigrants. Thus, up to the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century, the Chinese could only 
judge that European traders based their trade on cannon 
and the sword. 

The Dutch first arrived in 1622, when a fleet of seventeen 
vessels appeared off Macao. Portugal was then a part of 
the Spanish dominion, and Macao was fair spoil of war and 
was attacked ; the Dutch were, however, driven off and 
proceeded to the Pescadores, from which they were driven 
by the Chinese, partly by force of arms, partly by negotia- 
tion ; they then settled in Formosa, over which at that 
time China had no right of government. Here they built 
two massive brick blockhouses, (tradition says they brought 
the bricks from Holland!) with walls six to eight feet thick and 
thirty feet high, one in 1624, Fort Zealandia, at Taiwanfu 
in the south, one at Tamsui in the north. Their first em- 
bassy to Peking was in 1655, where it was received and had 
the distinction of being, except its own successor, the only 
European embassy, from first to last, to perform the kotow. 
In 1662, after a siege in Fort Zealandia of nine months, the 
Dutch were driven from Formosa by Koshinga, an inde- 
pendent partisan. In 1663 they occupied Amoy, and in 
1664 sent a trading expedition to Foochow ; but after that 
were content to trade at Canton on the same footing as 
others. A special embassy went to Peking in 1665, and 
their last was in 1795. Their treaty, on the same terms 
as those of other nations, was made in 1863. 

The English made several attempts to reach China 
after the date, 1596, when Elizabeth wrote a letter to the 
Emperor, which was not delivered ; but the first to arrive 
in China was Weddell, who reached Macao in July 1635. 
The policy of every nation in that day was to restrict the 
trade of others, in the belief that trade was a stagnant 
reservoir, the abstraction of a portion of the contents of 
which by others would leave so much the less for them- 


selves ; and the Portuguese interposed obstacles and mis- 
represented matters to the Chinese authorities in such a 
way. that Weddell's fleet was fired on from the Bogue Forts. 
A good answer was made, and in the end Weddell was 
allowed to obtain a cargo. The next attempt was in 1664, 
when one ship was sent to Macao, but returned without 
a cargo. Trade was opened with Formosa, not then under 
the Imperial authority, and in 1677 one small ship was 
sent to Amoy. In 1678 the ships took " trading goods " 
valued at £4,000 and £6,000 in specie, and brought back 
silks, rhubarb, and spelter. The Amoy post was abandoned 
in 1681 and re-established for a short time in 1685. The 
English were unable to obtain a footing at Canton before 
1684, and even then could do little trade owing to the 
opposition of the Portuguese, an important item in the 
budget of the colony of Macao consisting of presents to 
the Chinese officials, given to secure a monopoly. The 
trade prospered, however, little by little, until in 1701 the 
" investment " for Canton amounted to £40,800, while 
that for Amoy was £34,400. In 1701 an unprofitable 
attempt was made to trade at Ningpo. At Canton in 1702 
a beginning was made of what afterward developed into the 
" Hong " or " Factory " system. The English trade with 
China was in the hands of the East India Company until 
the abolition of its monopoly in 1834, all other English 
merchants trading under the Company's license. The first 
British embassy to Peking was that of Lord Macartney in 
1793, which was well and honorably received, but produced 
no practical result ; and the second was that of Lord 
Amherst in 18 16, who did not secure an audience, owing 
to regrettable misunderstanding. The third was that of 
Lord Napier in 1834, whose necessary assertion of the 
sovereignty and dignity of his country led, in the natural 
sequence of events, to the first war between China and a 
Western power, and to the first British treaty of 1842. 

The Russians approached China first by land, their 
first, unsuccessful, embassy reaching Peking in 1567 ; others, 
also unsuccessful, reaching Peking in 1619 an d 1653. Their 



earliest trading caravans reached Peking in 1658, 1672, and 
1677. The first treaty was signed in 1689, partly to regu- 
late land trade, but chiefly to recover from Russia ground 
she had occupied in farther Manchuria. Other diplomatic 
missions followed in 1692, 1719, 1727, 1755, and others up 
to the mission which signed the treaty of 1858. In 1806 
the Russians sent two ships to open up the sea trade with 
Canton ; they obtained cargoes, but the only result was 
that the Chinese prohibited all trade to nations not already 
on the spot. 

The French first made touch with China, other than by 
missionary enterprise, by a letter written by Louis XIV. 
to Kanghi in 1688. The first commercial attempt was in 
1728, but it was followed up only by private enterprise. 
The French flag was again hoisted at Canton in 1802, but 
was hauled down on the resumption of hostilities with the 
English, and was not again raised until 1829. Their first 
diplomatic mission was in 1844, and by it the first treaty 
was signed. 

The Americans first made direct entry into the China 
trade in 1784, their previous connection with it having been 
solely through the East India Company, which was espe- 
cially insistent that they should buy its tea. Though now 
an independent nation, they crept in under the wing of the 
English, but with the friendly support of the French, and 
joined in the " factory " life of the day. The only political 
event especially concerning them was the suspension of 
American trading in 182 1 owing to what the Americans 
believed was the accidental killing of a Chinese by an 
American sailor ; when the American was given up and had 
been strangled, trade was resumed. The first American 
embassy was in 1844, when the first treaty was signed. 
By this time the Americans had attained a position in the 
trade of Canton second only to the English, a development 
based rather upon the prestige of others than upon their 
own, but furthered by the Yankee trading instinct. 

Other nations had come at various dates to share in 
the China trade, and there had been established among 


the factories at Canton the Swedish, Danish, and Imperial ; 
the memory of the Danes is still preserved in Dane Island 
at Whampoa, and the Imperial factory probably provided 
chiefly for what is now Belgian trade and, possibly, for that 
of the Hanseatic towns. Others, without separate factories, 
came also under British protection from India, as if in antici- 
pation of their future absorption. The Portuguese remained 
solely at Macao, but otherwise Canton was a microcosm 
with (in the order from east to west) its Dutch, East India 
Company's, general English, Swedish, Imperial, American, 
French, Spanish, and Danish factories, with four others 
let out in apartments. 

Factory and Hong System 

In the old Canton regime, the " factory " (which must 
be understood in the old sense of the residence or station 
of the " factor " or agent of the home company) repre- 
sented the purely foreign side, being the counting-house, 
warehouse, treasury, and residence of the foreign trader 
during such time of the year as he was allowed to remain 
at Canton. The Hong, or Co-Hong, or Guild was the sole 
medium through which the foreign trader could enter into 
trade relations with the Chinese Empire. The first steps 
in this direction were taken in 1702, when one man was 
appointed to be the sole broker through whom all foreigners 
should buy and sell. In 1720 the Co-Hong was established 
as a body corporate, and in 1745 their position was re- 
affirmed, they were given an absolute monopoly of all 
dealings with foreigners, and were held responsible for their 
debts and good behavior : in the latter days the number 
of members was thirteen. In 1760 more stringent regula- 
tions were drawn up to the following effect : — 

I. All vessels of war are prohibited from entering the 
Bogue. Vessels of war acting as convoy to merchant- 
men must anchor outside at sea until their merchants 
ships are ready to depart, and must then sail away 
with them. 


II. Neither women, guns, spears, nor arms of any kind 
can be brought to the factories. 

III. All river pilots and ships' compradors * must be 
registered at the office of the Chinese magistrate at Macao, 
who will furnish each with a license or badge which must 
be worn at the waist. No boatmen or other people must 
hold communication with foreign ships unless under the 
immediate control of the ship's comprador, and the latter 
will be punished if any smuggling occurs on the ship to 
which he is attached. 

IV. Each factory is restricted to employ eight Chinese 
(their functions enumerated). 

V. Foreigners are prohibited from going on the river 
at their own will. By a relaxation made in 1819, they were 
allowed on the 8th, 18th, and 28th of each month to go to 
the Flower Gardens (about a mile away), but not in droves 
of over ten. If they stayed out overnight, their exeat 
would be refused for the next holiday. They must always 
be accompanied by a " linguist," and he is punished for 
any breach of rule. 

VI. Foreigners are not allowed to address the officials 
directly ; if they have any representation to make, it must 
be done through the Hong merchants. 

VII. Hong merchants are not to owe money to 
foreigners. Smuggling goods to and from the city is 

VIII. Foreign ships arriving with merchandise must 
not loiter about outside the river ; they must come direct 
to Whampoa and must not engage in clandestine trade 

These and others of the older regulations remained in 
full force up to the very last of the factory days. In 1830, 
for example, no less than three ladies, wives of some of 
the staff of the E.I.C. factory, ventured to come from 
Macao to Canton, where their arrival caused great com- 
motion ; they left after a few days, but not until the 
officials threatened to stop all trade ! By this system 

* Ship chandlers. 


the foreign trader, living ordinarily at Macao, came to 
Canton to attend to the business of his ship, and while 
there lived in his factory ; when his ship's business was 
finished, he was supposed to return to Macao, or to any 
other place in the outside world, obtaining for his exit, but 
not for his entrance, a permit (or rather four documents : 
1st, a guarantee by several of the Hong merchants ; 2nd, the 
Hoppo's laissez passer ; 3rd, a formal pass to be countersigned 
by each fort and taxing station en route ; 4th, a permit for 
the effects and property taken along, for which he paid a 
fee which, on occasion, would rise as high as Tls.300 (£100), 
This was the theory ; in practice the ships arrived in fleets, 
or at fixed periods, aiming at reaching Canton as soon after 
the north-east monsoon had set in as possible (October), 
and at leaving before the south-west monsoon had 
developed force (say March) to prevent a good passage 
down the China Sea ; and the foreigners usually came and 
went in a body. During the summer one or two members 
would be left in Canton, not, ostensibly, to protect the 
factory, which was under the absolutely trustworthy 
protection of the Co-Hong, or rather of that member 
specifically assigned to the factory, but on the pretext, 
always accepted for an annually recurring consideration, 
that an out-of-season ship was, or might be, expected, 
or that their import cargoes had not been sold. When 
a ship arrived, its first duty was to obtain a licensed pilot 
at Macao, and a ship's comprador first at Macao, later at 
Whampoa, the anchorage, ten miles below Canton : these, 
especially the latter, monopolised all dealings with the ship, 
as ship, fixing their own prices. On arrival at the Bogue 
(Bocca Tigris, Hoomunchai, Tiger's Gullet), the one narrow 
entrance for laden ships, a permit to enter had to be taken 
out, for which fees had to be paid. An authentic account * 
of the fees paid for a ship entering in 1830 shows the ex- 
treme elasticity of the official tariff, over and above the 
gratifications paid to numerous subordinates to facilitate 
the smooth running of the machinery. 

* " Old Canton," by W. C. Hunter. 



Tonnage dues calculated according to measure- 
ment of length and breadth 

Loss in converting into bullion 


Official gratuity 

Hoppo's " fee for opening the barrier 

Transport to Peking and weighing in Govern- 
ment scales . . .... 

To the Superintendent of the Treasury 

Add ItV per cent, converting into bullion 

Difference in weights between Canton and 

Peking, 7 per cent.* . . . . . . . . 174455 

Total . . Tls.2,666-667 

















equivalent at the ordinary exchange of the day to about 
£900, but evidently not including " all the old charges of 
measurement, entrance, and port-clearance fees, daily and 
monthly fees, etc," which, according to the special Regula- 
tion of July 1843, " are to be abolished." Under present 
regulations, which have been in force since 1858, the total 
sum payable on the above account for this ship of 420 tons 
is Tls. 168, equivalent at to-day's exchange to £25. When 
the ship arrived at Whampoa, she continued to be a source 
of minor profit to the ship's comprador, to the officials 
from daily and monthly fees, from payments to subordinates, 
and from some uncertain gratuities to expedite her de- 
parture. Her agent in Canton took her manifest, giving 
full particulars of the cargo, and handed it to that member 
of the Co-Hong who was responsible, and the Co-Hong 
took all the necessary steps and paid all the necessary 
sums to have the cargo discharged into privileged (monopoly) 
lighters and brought to the factory. The specie, which 
formed a great part of the inward lading, was then de- 

* The actual difference in weights is under 1 per cent., but the 
other way around, the Canton scale being the heavier. 


posited in the treasury of the factory, and the cargo might 
be sold to the factory's member of the Co-Hong and to no 
one else. Outside these limitations there was no com- 
pulsion ; the importer could hold for a better market, 
or he could send his goods back whence they came (thereby 
materially reducing the space available for tea), but he 
need not sell unless he wished. For export cargo the main 
staple was tea, which was almost invariably contracted 
for a year ahead ; here again the foreign trader had his 
option : he could fix both quantity and price at time of 
contracting, or he could fix the quantity only, leaving the 
price to be settled according to the rates ruling for quality 
on the opening of next season's tea market. Shipments of 
silk could not exceed a certain limit (140 piculs = 167 cwt.) 
for any one ship — except on paying for the privilege, 
not according to a tariff, but enough to secure the permit. 
" Chow-chow " cargo (as it was then termed, the " muck 
and truck " of to-day's jargon, " sundries " other than 
tea and silk) could be shipped apparently without special 
limit, but a special permit — paid for — was required for 
shipments of bullion. When the export cargo, taken down 
in privileged lighters, was duly laden on board, the Co- 
Hong obtained the " Grand Chop " or clearance permit 
— paid for ; provided with which the ship could proceed 
to sea. This was a system which worked without friction. 
Every one was pleased : the foreign merchant enjoyed 
his practical monopoly, and had nothing of the extortion 
thrust under his eyes, while the annoyances of his daily life 
were as nothing to the prospects of rapid fortune ; the Co- 
Hong paid, one way and another, its millions, but could 
recoup itself many times ; and the officials were quite 
contented. The best commentary on its commercial 
aspect is the admitted fact that there grew up side by 
side, during a century of joint working, a body of Chinese 
and of foreign merchants than whom there has never, at 
any time or at any place, been a more honorable, with 
never a written contract, with many an occasion of help 
in time of difficulty, and with much sympathy and friendli- 


ness from one to the other. When the East India Company 
was thrust from its high estate in 1834 and the British 
Government sent a Royal Envoy to assume, for the first 
time, the control of trade, then the full light of day was 
thrown on the system, and it was seen to be, from its 
governmental side, a system not of taxation but of milking. 
From first to last the foreign trade was milked. From 
the time a ship entered port until she left, she and her 
equipment and her cargo and her agents were solely in 
the hands of men who were under the authority and direct 
control of the Co-Hong or the officials. Disregarding the 
smaller fry — the licensed and monopolist pilots, ship 
chandlers, stevedores, lighterers, brokers, shroffs, linguists, 
guides — all of whom dipped their hands into the pot, we 
need only consider the relations between those most friendly 
of rivals, the foreign traders and the Co-Hong merchants. 
The foreigner was surrounded by an impenetrable veil ; 
he had no access to markets, he could not even walk down 
a street of shops, he could send no independent and trust- 
worthy agent out to inquire prices, but must in all cases 
accept without criticism the prices offered by his broker 
of the Co-Hong. This applied equally to imports and to 
exports ; and that the Chinese system allowed the foreigner 
not only to make a living but to accumulate a modest 
fortune, that a member of the Co-Hong would, when 
occasion called for it, wipe out the debt of a foreign 
merchant who had fallen into difficulties, says much for 
the generosity and the business capacity and foresight 
of the Chinese merchants, but it emphasises also the fact 
that there must have been a wide margin of profit to allow 
of such liberality. For the Co-Hong was the milker, 
milking the foreign trade for all it was worth, and paying 
heavily for the privilege. Its thirteen members paid for 
their appointment, Tls. 200,000 (over £60,000) being re- 
ported as the sum so paid by one ; they were frequently 
called upon for special contributions, say Tls. 100,000, 
for a Yellow River flood or some other catastrophe ; they 
had to maintain their position (their " pull ") at the capital ; 


they had to keep well with the officials at Canton, especially 
their over-lord, the Hoppo ; and every one who knows 
China knows that they had to gain and keep the good will 
of every subordinate of every official, down to the humblest 
gate-keeper. When Canton submitted in 1841 to pay a 
ransom of $6,000,000, the Hong merchants contributed 
from their private means $2,000,000. And yet the best 
known among them, Howqua, himself stated in 1834, nine 
years before his death, that his estate was valued at 
$26,000,000, a great fortune for those days, probably 
the largest mercantile fortune in the world. 

Up to 1834 China was the admitted master of the 
situation. China it was that laid down the terms on which 
alone foreign trade was permitted, and foreign nations, 
represented by the trading interests alone, accepted those 
terms and submitted to them without a murmur ; while 
the traders themselves were quite content, at Canton as 
at Nagasaki, to accept a position of recognised inferiority 
so long as their trade was profitable. The arrival of Lord 
Napier as British Envoy introduced another question, that 
of equality between sovereign powers, and on this the 
Chinese were stubborn ; and a further element was thrown 
into the crucible by the suddenly revived but undoubtedly 
honest prohibition sentiment of the Imperial Court towards 
opium. The contest lasted for twenty-six years, from 
1834 to i860, and had behind it four main elements of 
strife — 

1st, The claim for equality of treatment as between 
nations : this was settled by the British treaty of 1842, 
and finally settled in i860. 

2nd, The opium question : this, in their treaty of 1842, 
imposed at the cannon's mouth, the British left alone, and 
it was finally settled incidentally by the inclusion of opium 
in the tariffs annexed simultaneously to all the treaties 
of 1858. 

3rd, The monopoly of the Co-Hong and the irregular 
incidence of taxation : this was settled in 1842. 

4th, Security to foreigners for life, limb, and property 


from the principles of Chinese law and their inequitable 
application : this the British treaty of 1842 left unsettled, 
and it was first introduced into the British supplementary 
treaty of Hoomunchai (1843) and the American treaty of 

The position was now reversed, and from i860, 
partly by the action of Great Britain and later of Great 
Britain and France, partly through the weakness caused 
to China by rebellion and disorder, the foreign powers have 
been masters of the situation, and foreign trade has been 
conducted on conditions laid down by them and not by 

The component elements of the old trade are not well 
known, and will some day be elucidated by a study of the 
East India Company's archives for the period. All that is 
known is that China wanted very little that the West could 
supply. Cotton manufactures in 1905 constituted 44 per 
cent, of the value (excluding opium) of all foreign imports ; 
but in this industry the West could compete with cheap 
Asiatic labor only after the development springing from the 
inventions of Richard Arkwright and Eli Whitney, and 
in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the move- 
ment of cotton cloth was from China to the West, in the 
shape of nankeens to provide small-clothes for our grand- 
fathers. Woollens were wanted, but only in small quantities, 
the Chinese preferring their own silks, and even now the 
import of woollens does not exceed 1 per cent, of the 
total import trade. Quicksilver and lead were wanted, 
but in no great quantities ; and the goods introduced con- 
sisted to a great extent of those articles which were objects 
of curiosity to the Chinese, corresponding to the lacquered 
boxes and carved ivories, the painted fans and quaint 
Buddhas, which went to the West in exchange. Apart 
from opium, to be considered in another chapter, the trade 
was on a cash basis. It was before the day of extended 
bank facilities, by which an excess of exports^from one 
country is paid for by the imports into another country, 
and at Canton there were no banks, each factory and each 


merchant having a treasury which must always be kept 
stocked with specie, an individual factory having frequently 
over a million dollars on hand ; only the East India Company 
worked its India and its China trade one into the other, 
and drew or gave bills on Bombay or Calcutta, receiving 
or shipping treasure only when funds were not sufficient 
to cover its bills. To some extent the Dutch India Com- 
pany could do the same, but generally the movement of 
merchandise from the Dutch Indies was outward, as it was 
from China. This course was not open to others, and the 
lading of a ship of 498 tons which left New York for Canton 
in 1824 may probably be taken as more or less typical ; 
it consisted of furs (coal to Newcastle !), bar and scrap 
iron (probably as ballast), lead (required for packing tea, 
but also mined in China), quicksilver (in demand, import 
779,600 lbs. in 1868 and 156,000 lbs. in 1905), and 350,000 
Spanish dollars in kegs. That veracious historian, J. 
Fenimore Cooper,* writing in 1847 of a trade of which 
he had some knowledge, describes two voyages of the 
good ship Rancocus in 1796 and 1798. In the first she 
sailed from Philadelphia to Europe, and there engaged in 
trade, profitable to neutrals, " until a certain sum in Spanish 
dollars (specie was scarce in America at that time) could be 
collected, when she was to . . . make the best of her way 
to Canton," and load tea. In the second she sailed for 
the South Pacific islands with " trade goods " and axes to 
pick up a cargo of sandalwood (with some misgivings in 
the minds of her owners as to its employment for idolatrous 
purposes), and, after an interrupted voyage, arrived in 
Canton, sold her sandalwood at good prices, bought tea, 
and had some thousands of dollars surplus, also spent in 
Canton, but for another purpose. In the year 1831, so 
Hunter informs us, three ships, arriving from New York, 
brought with them $1,100,000 in coin. Even as late as 
1859, a y ear m which the imports and exports of merchandise 
at Shanghai about balanced, the import of treasure at that 
port through foreign channels was Tls. 10,483,550 and the 
* " The Crater." 


export Tls.4, 246,067 ; and in i860, with exports exceeding 
imports in value, the movement of treasure at Shanghai 
was Tls.15,201,277 inwards and Tls. 1,742, 510 outwards. 
After that date banking facilities were more fully developed 
in the East, and in 1905 was seen the spectacle of a 
Chinese import trade (Tls.447,000,000) valued at nearly 
double the value of the export trade (Tls. 228,000, 000) 
and financed with only a comparatively trifling movement 
of treasure, about ten million taels on balance for the year, 
and that inwards, in the same direction as the merchandise. 
The truth is that China has for centuries levied tribute, 
commercially, on the outside world in a way which will be 
referred to later. 

The new trade of China, based on conditions laid down 
by the foreign powers, has been conducted since i860 on 
lines similar in many ways to those followed in other parts 
of the world, and practically identical up to the moment 
when foreign imports are sold to the Chinese distributor, 
and from the moment when Chinese produce is bought for 
shipment ; but one fact must be borne in mind, that Customs 
duty is levied in China on exports as well as on imports, 
both being assessed at rates based on a nominal five per cent, 
levy. The development of trade in the past forty-five 
years cannot be fully gauged by a mere statement of the 
total value inwards and outwards, since a much more 
important factor is the increase in the number of articles 
demanded from the West and of those supplied for export. 
The Chinese Customs statistics, issued frona i860, assumed 
their present shape in 1867, and that year is taken for 
comparison with 1905 in order to show the progress made 
in the exchange of commodities during thirty-nine years of 
the new dispensation. 


During the sixteenth century the only ships trading 
to China were the Portuguese. During the seventeenth 
century Portuguese ships traded to Canton, Dutch to 
Formosa and Amoy, and English to Amoy and, from 1684, 



to Canton. In the eighteenth century trade was rigidly 
restricted to Canton, and at this port the flags of the principal 
maritime commercial nations were shown in greater or less 
numbers, including, from 1784, the American. In the first 
part of the nineteenth century, in the days of the " old 
trade," restricted as before to Canton, the principal part 
of the carrying trade fell to the British flag, and, next to 
that, to the American. The fifth and sixth decades of the 
century were a period of scramble, and since that time the 
development of the carrying trade under the principal flags 
is shown in the following table. 

















2 °'496,347 












x 37,253 









1 , 983, 605 

















Other Foraign . . 







Chinese | 















Imports generally (net, after deduction of re-exports 
to foreign countries) were valued in 1867 at Tls.69,329,741 
(£23,109,914) and in 1905 at Tls.447,100,791 (£67,065,119). 

Opium was imported in 1867 to the amount of 60,948 
piculs, of which 26,297 piculs was Bengal (government 
monopoly) opium, and 34,651 piculs from Malwa (in- 
dependent Indian states) and Persia ; the value was 
Tls. 31, 994,576, being 46 per cent, of the value of all foreign 
imports in that year. In 1905 the import of foreign opium 
was 51,890 piculs, of which 34,235 piculs were Bengal and 
17,655 Malwa and Persian ; the value was Tls. 34,070,021, 
being 7 \ per cent, of all foreign imports. 

* Japanese carrying trade affected by Russo-Japanese War, 

f Steamers and sailing vessels engaging in trade under the regu- 
lations of the Inspectorate General of Customs, 


Cotton Manufactures in 1867 were valued at Tls. 14,617,268, 
being 21 per cent, of the total, and in 1905 at 
Tls. 181,452,953, being 40 per cent of the total ; the im- 
ports of 1905 were above the normal, but the increase was 
maintained in 1906. Of plain fabrics (grey and white shirt- 
ings, sheetings, drills, jeans, and T-cloths) the import in 
1867 was 3,738,965 pieces, about 118,875,000 square yards, 
of which 130,000 pieces came from the United States and 
the rest mainly from England ; the value of these plain 
fabrics was Tls. 10,537,427, which was 72 per cent, of all 
cotton imports. Of these same plain fabrics the importation 
in 1905 was 28,702,693 pieces, about 1,167,600,000 square 
yards, of which the country of origin was as follows : — 


Sq. Yards. 

Value, Tls. 


- • 14,393,846 




• 12,693,793 











All others 

. 28,702,693 






This value was 48 per cent, of the value of all cotton products 
imported in 1905. Fine cotton fabrics were imported in 
1867 to the extent of 781,359 pieces, about 15,860,000 
square yards, composed more than half of figured (white 
and dyed) shirting and chintzes, almost entirely of English 
weaving ; the value was Tls. 2, 464, 075, being 17 per cent, 
of all cotton imports. In 1905 fine cotton imports were 
10,821,885 pieces, about 220,195,000 square yards, which 
may be divided approximately between the countries of 
origin as follows : — 


Sq. Yards. 

Value, Tls. 


• • 7,634,054 











All others 

. . 10,821,885 







This value was 15 per cent, of the value of all cotton pro- 
ducts in 1905. The kinds which were prominent in 1867 
have lost their prominence in 1905, and in the latter year 
the great bulk is made up by " imitations," by cheap 
cotton substitutes for a more expensive woollen fabric, by 
an appeal to the eye ; of the Tls. 27, 509,419, the value of 
all fine cottons, no less than Tls. 19,240,889 are supplied 
by cotton Italians, cotton lastings, cotton Spanish stripes, 
cotton flannel, and cotton blankets. The import of cotton 
yarn in 1867 was 33,274 piculs, entirely of English spinning : 
it was of the finer counts, with an average value of Tls .48*20 
(£16) a picul ; and the total value, Tls. 1,603, 807, was 
11 per cent, of all cotton products. In 1905 the cotton 
yarn imported was 2,577,748 piculs, of which 22,075 piculs 
were English spinning, 1,867,309 Indian, 684,671 Japanese, 
and 3,693 from all other sources ; this import was mainly 
of the coarser counts (12's to 24's), with an average value 
of Tls.26 (£3 18s.) a picul, and the total value, Tls. 66,892,485, 
was 36 per cent, of all cotton imports : in 1903 and 1904 
the percentage of yarn to the total had been 52 and 48 
respectively. If we add Tls. 20,000,000, the value of the 
750,000 piculs of yarn machine-spun annually in the fac- 
tories of Shanghai and other ports, it may be declared that 
normally and on the average a full half of all foreign cotton 
products is now in the shape of the semi-finished product 
yarn. This yarn is imported to give a strong warp, on 
which the people in their homes weave a coarse durable 
fabric, filling in with a hand-spun weft of Chinese cotton ; 
it penetrates to every corner of the Empire, and in every 
village street may be seen the long white stretches arranged 
by the women in preparation for their labor at the loom. 
In Western countries the cheapness of the machine-woven 
cotton fabric has driven out the home-spun of our grand- 
mothers, whose descendants may now more profitably 
employ their time and energy in other occupations ; in 
China the machine has only succeeded in partially sup- 
planting the spinning-wheel, but the hand-loom is still 


Woollcnswere importedin 1867 of avalue of Tls.7, 391,236, 
constituting 10 per cent, of all foreign imports. In 1905 
the value was Tls.4,414,713, being less than 1 per cent, 
of all imports. Those Chinese who can afford woollens 
prefer silks and furs, and the wearers of sheep-skirls and 
cotton-wadded garments cannot afford woollens ; while 
the demands of fashion are met by cotton imitations. 

Metals were valued in 1867 at Tls. 1,630, 351, a little 
over 2 per cent, of all imports, and in 1905 at Tls.46,318,231, 
being 10 per cent, of the whole ; but this requires some 
explanation. The import of copper in 1867 was 11,150 
piculs, valued at Tls. 198, 017, and in 1905 was 985,287 
piculs, valued at Tls.31,762,337 : almost the entire import 
in the latter year was for the mints of China, which were 
then engaged in wild orgies of issues of copper token 
coinage. Lead (57,780 and 143,652 piculs) is chiefly wanted 
for packing tea, and tin (31,758 and 54,193 piculs) chiefly 
for making tin-foil and those paper simulacra of silver 
bullion which are offered so profusely in religious worship, 
specially at the ancestral tombs. Tinned plates in 1867 
amounted to 1,744 piculs, and in 1905 to 182,188 piculs, 
in addition to a considerable quantity of second-hand plate 
coming as lining to cases containing piece-goods, kerosene 
oil, and other commodities, every foot of which is utilised 
in this land of poverty and thrift, and the quantity of 
which is estimated at not less than 500,000 piculs a year. 
The consumption of iron and steel is in all countries the 
index of industrial progress ; the import into China in 1867 
was 117,381 piculs (7,000 tons) ; in 1905 this had increased 
to 2,713,113 piculs (161,500 tons). This is satisfactory, but 
another indication of the poverty and thrift of the people 
is found in the fact that of the import of 1905 close on a half 
(1,323,593 piculs) consisted of old iron, plate cuttings, 
etc., the discards of Western markets, coming mainly from 

Sundries, i.e. all goods other than opium, cottons, 
woollens, and metals, were valued in 1867 at Tls. 13,636,376, 
just under 20 per cent, of the whole ; in 1905 their value 


was Tls. 186,338,096, just overdo per cent, of the whole. 
Nothing but a brief summary 01 the more important articles 
can be attempted. Fish and products of the sea in general 
imported from foreign ports in 1867 were valued at 
Tls. 1,358,716, and in 1905 at Tls. 11,820,686. Cigarettes were 
unknown in 1867, and in 1905 their value was Tls.4,427,171, 
imported half from the United States, a fourth from 
England, and a fourth from Japan. In 1867 the import 
of coal was 113,430 tons ; in 1905 China produced some 
400,000 tons, coming under Customs cognisance, and 
imported a further quantity of 1,314,032 tons. Aniline 
dyes were not an article of commerce in 1867 ; in 1905 the 
value was Tls. 2,626,545 for aniline dyes in general, not 
including Tls. 1,726, 950 for synthetic indigo to displace 
the natural product of the country. The taste for foreign 
luxuries has been introduced by returned emigrants, and 
flour, unknown in 1867, was imported in 1905 to the extent 
of 2,635,000 bags of 50 lbs. Window glass and glassware was 
valued in 1867 at Tls.25,182, and in 1905 at Tls. 1,554,832. 
Matches in 1867 figured for 79,236 gross of boxes, valued 
at one tael a gross ; in 1905 the import was 26,057,221 
gross, valued at Tls.0215 a gross, nearly ten boxes for 
each one of the 400,000,000 of men, women and children 
in the Empire. Kerosene oil was not an article of general 
commerce in 1867, the import amounting only to 29,842 
gallons for the foreign community ; the trade began to 
expand in 1878, when the import was 4,161,100 gallons, 
entirely American ; Russian oil was introduced in 1889, 
Sumatran in 1894, and Borneo oil in 1901 ; in 1905 the 
total import was 156,948,040 gallons, of which 52 per cent, 
was American, 8 per cent. Russian, 32 per cent. Sumatran, 
and 7 per cent, from Borneo. Rice is always wanted for 
the people of China, but of the 713,494 piculs imported in 
1867 a large part went to Ningpo, while the 2,227,916 piculs 
in 1905 were mainly for Kwangtung. Of sugar the import 
in 1867 was 186,176 piculs, entirely Chinese sugar re- 
imported from Hongkong ; in 1905 the import was 4,644,315 
piculs, of which no more than 365,000 piculs could have 



been Chinese sugar re-imported, the greater part being 
Java sugar, with some quantity from tlm Philippines, 
shipped to Hongkong and imported thence either in its 
original state or, to the extent of 1,322,000 piculs, refined. 
Timber, hard and soft, was imported in 1867 to the value 
of Tls.205,168, and in 1905 of Tls.3, 121,841 J m tne latter 
year the quantity of soft-wood planks was 90,432,396 super- 
ficial feet, of which 61 per cent, came from the United 
States and 38 per cent, from Japan. 

Raw Cotton occupies a peculiar position in China, being 
both exported and imported. In 1867 the export (from 
Shanghai) was 29,391 piculs, and the import from India 
(chiefly into Canton) was 336,072 piculs, its value con- 
stituting a third of the foreign " sundries " imported. 
In 1904 the export was 1,228,588 piculs, and the import 
60,057 piculs. China is a great cotton-growing country, 
and the proportions for 1905 (export 789,273 piculs, import 
90,581 piculs) represent the normal movement. 


Exported goods were valued in 1867 at Tls. 57, 895,713 
(£19,298,571), and in 1905 at Tls. 227,888,197 (£34.183,230), 
a much smaller development than is shown in the case of 
imports. The export trade of China is in three broad 
divisions — silk, tea, and " sundries," the last being the 
official designation of what was called by merchants in the 
old trade " chow-chow," and to-day is called " muck and 
truck." In 1867, of the whole export trade, silk and its 
products accounted for 34 per cent., tea for 59 per cent, 
and sundries for 7 per cent. ; in 1905 the proportions were 
silk 31 per cent., tea 11 per cent, and sundries 58 p^r cent 

Tea * constituted the main staple of the old trade of 

* The English and Dutch obtained their first tea at Amoy, and 
consequently called the leaf tea (rhyming with obey), the name in 
the Amoy dialect ; French, Germans, Americans, and others first 
obtained the leaf, and with it the name through England or Holland. 
The Portuguese and Spanish obtained it from Canton, and conse- 
quently called it by the Cantonese name cha. The Russians, ob- 



China. As has been stated, the fragrant leaf formed the 
main part of the outward lading of ships, vessels which 
could take a thousand tons or more of tea being restricted, 
in theory and by law, to 140 piculs, less than ten tons in 
weight, of the other staple export, silk. This preponderance 
continued in the new regime, and, as we have seen, in 1867 
tea contributed three-fifths of the value of all exports. 
In the two seasons 1848-9 and 1849-50 the average of 
shipments of tea to England was 335,920 piculs, of which 
249,660 piculs were shipped from Canton and 87,260 piculs 
from Shanghai ; and shipments to the United States 
averaged 26,600 piculs, from Shanghai. Tea shipments from 
China increased in actual volume until the culminating 
year, 1886, when, with a quantity the highest on 
record, the value contributed but 43 per cent, of all 
exports ; thereafter both quantity and price fell off, until 
in 1905 tea gave little over a tenth of the value of all 
exports. With a reduction in quantity there has been a 
still greater decline in value, notwithstanding the reduced 
exchange value of the unit, the tael of silver ; and, with a 
restricted market for tea of the finer qualities, there is a 
distinct falling off in the proportion of tea leaf to brick tea, 
made of refuse leaf, dust, and stalks, as shown in the following 
table :— 

Tea Leaf. 

Brick Tea. 





1867 . . 
1886 . . 
1905 . . 










This change is the more significant when it is remembered 
that tea leaf goes to Europe and America to be infused and 
provide the beverage we know, while the brick tea is for 

taining it by the northern frontier, called it tchai, from the northern 
Chinese name cha-yeh, " tea-leaf." 


the inhabitants of Siberia and Central Asia, who make of 
it a soup. The decline in the China tea trade has come 
from the competition with India, which learned its lesson 
from China and has improved upon the instruction given. 
The first experiments were made in India in 1838, in which 
year 500 lbs. were shipped to England ; it took over twenty 
years for shipments to reach a million pounds, but then 
the trade advanced by leaps and bounds. In 1867, when 
China shipments were one and a quarter million piculs, the 
export from India was 40,000 piculs ; in 1886, shipments 
of all kinds from China were 2,217,201 piculs, and from 
India 565,690 piculs. Ceylon came into the market in 
1883, and under the influence of heavy shipments from 
Ceylon and from India, the English market was gradually 
lost to China tea, until in 1905 the quantities withdrawn 
from bond for consumption within the United Kingdom 
were as follows : — 

China .. .. 6,658,966 lbs. = 49,142 piculs 

India . . . . 150,530,446 „ — 1,128,978 

Ceylon . . . . 89,385,901 „ = 670,394 

Other countries 12,513,284 ,, = 93,850 

Fifty years ago China supplied practically all the tea infused 
in the United Kingdom, and to-day she supplies just one- 
fortieth. The United States is not one of the great tea- 
drinking nations, its per capita consumption being about 
one-fifth that of the British, and since the opening of Japan 
the American tea-drinkers have taken rather to tea from 
that country ; in 1867 shipments to the United States from 
China amounted to 194,153 piculs, being 65 per cent, of 
the American import of that year ; in 1905 the correspond- 
ing quantity was 182,123 piculs, which was 23^ per cent, 
of the American consumption. Russia has always been 
an important customer for Chinese tea. Sea-borne tea for 
Russia in early years cannot be distinguished, since so 
much was bought on the London market. Direct shipments 
declared for Russia have been as follows : in 1867 leaf, 
13,251 piculs, brick, 53,123 piculs ; in 1886, leaf, 239,086 


piculs, brick, 360,091 piculs ; in 1903 (before the dislocation 
of trade occasioned by the Russo-Japanese war), leaf, 
401,087 piculs, brick, 618,458 piculs, the total being 60 per 
cent, of all exports of tea from China during the year. The 
English market and that of Australia, with the largest per 
capita consumption in the world, have been lost to China, 
chiefly for the reason that the Indian and Ceylon teas give 
a strong infusion, and are as strong in that second drawing 
which is so dear to the housekeeper's heart. The English 
taste has become so thoroughly perverted and insensible 
of the delicacy and cleanness of flavor characteristic of 
China tea, that the market can never be recovered even 
by reduced price ; and in the contest, China is handicapped 
by several factors. Indian tea is prepared and fired by 
mechanical appliances, the use of which is possible only 
where, as in India, large plantations, of a thousand or more 
acres, are under one management ; in China all is done by 
hand, and no change can be made in a country where the 
individual cultivator has only a small patch of a very few 
acres, ten acres being a large plantation. In twenty years 
of a declining market the tea shrubs have been left un- 
pruned and uncultivated, and it is doubtful if they can ever 
recover their old-time condition. Finally, the Chinese 
fiscal system is to tax everything in sight. In India there 
is no tax on the production or export of tea ; in China 
not only was there for forty-five years an export duty of 
Tls.2'50 a picul, reduced only in 1903 to Tls.i*25 (equivalent 
at present exchange to \d. per lb.), but on the way from 
the producing district to the shipping port there is levied 
a series of taxes, amounting on the average to more than 
Tls.2'50 a picul for official tax, with something to be added 
for irregular levy and delay and loss of interest. No in- 
dustry thus burdened could compete with a rival free of all 

Silk is the product for which China has been noted for 
two thousand years, and it is now the product which in- 
dividually contributes the greatest proportion of the value 
of the export trade. By the nineteenth century the supplies 


obtained from China had developed to a considerable 
quantity, the average annual shipments to England in the 
last five years of the East India Company's monopoly, 
1828-33, being 5,393 bales (4,314 piculs). During the next 
four years of open trade, 1833-7, shipments increased to 
an annual average of 12,497 bales (9,998 piculs). Then 
followed a period of war and interrupted trade, and in the 
five years 1839-44 the annual shipments fell to 2,080 
bales (1,664 piculs). Upon the restoration of peace and 
the opening of the five treaty ports, the annual export 
to England rose again in the five years 1845-50 to 18,654 
bales (14,923 piculs). In i860 Japanese silk found its outlet 
through Shanghai to the amount of 6,248 piculs. Apart 
from this the export of white and yellow raw silk from 
Canton and Shanghai respectively has been as follows : — 

Canton. Shanghai. Total, all Ports. 




i860 . . 

• • 5,571 



1867 . . 




1886 . . 




1905 . . 

• • 34,231 



In addition, wild silk, the product of silkworms feeding on 
the oak, was exported as follows : 5,127 piculs in i860, 
5,363 piculs in 1867, 12,555 piculs in 1886, and 25,584 
piculs in 1905. The value of the export of each category 
of silk products — cocoons, raw silk (white, yellow, and wild) , 
waste silk, and woven silk goods — has been as follows : — 


Raw Silk. 

Waste Silk. 

Woven Silk. 

i860 . 

. 53,845 




1867 . 

• 39,598 




1886 , 

. 350,482 





. . 1,344,286 




In 1905 the raw white originated almost entirely in Shanghai 
and Canton ; yellow silk came chiefly from Szechwan, a 
smaller quantity being also produced in Shantung ; wild 


silk came chiefly from Manchuria, with secondary sources 
of supply in Szechwan and Kwangtung ; waste silk came 
from many quarters ; and woven silks were produced 
chiefly in the vicinity of Nanking, Soochow, Hangchow, 
Shanghai, and Canton, and, in the shape of pongees woven 
from wild silk, at Chef 00. Of all these products raw white 
silk is the most important, and this is mainly produced 
within a radius of 150 miles around Shanghai, and in a 
smaller district around Canton : of the two the Shanghai 
silk is of the finer quality. In this district the silkworm 
is by nature the best in the world, producing naturally from 
the best mulberry the largest quantity of the finest silk ; 
and formerly, in silk as in tea, China set the standard for 
the world. In the course of years the silkworm all over 
the world was attacked by disease. In Europe, and later 
in Japan, scientific remedial measures were evolved by 
patient study, with the result that the disease can make 
no headway there, and with the further result that their 
silk is much improved in quality. China had for centuries 
adopted a method of eliminating the weaklings from the 
eggs by exposure to frost and snow, a method more effective 
than any adopted in Europe, and fully effective so long 
as no disease attacked the eggs or the worms ; but her 
failure to adopt the scientific remedy of microscopic ex- 
amination is by degrees putting her behind in the race. Of 
1,000 eggs passed as healthy by this test it may be said 
that 700 will survive through all the stages of moulting 
and development, and will spin strong full-sized cocoons, 
of which it will take 3 to 4 lbs. to reel 1 lb. of silk ; of 1,000 
eggs passed by the test of frost alone, 700 may hatch out, 
and of these 700, fully 400 will die during the successive 
moults, having meantime eaten leaf to waste, and the 
surviving 300 will spin weak under-sized cocoons, of which 
it will take 6 to 7 lbs. to reel 1 lb. of silk. The proportion 
between the producing capacity of the Italian and the 
Chinese silkworm may be put at 100 to 25, apart from the 
waste of leaf. Once upon a time China was the sole source 
of supply of silk for the West, and within a half -century she 

2g6 the chtnese emptre 

supplied a full half ; on the basis of the average output of 
the three years 1902-4, and not including the home weaving 
of China and Japan, the West was supplied with silk, 27 
per cent, from China, 28 per cent, from Japan, 25 per cent, 
from Italy, and 20 per cent, from all other countries ; and 
China's proportion in 1905 was reduced to less than 25 
per cent. Owing to the improved methods introduced in 
Japan that country has now become China's most important 
competitor, and the export of raw white silk from the two 
countries has been as follows, 1899 having been the year 
in which China's export reached its highest figure : — 















Can it be that silk, which furnishes a third of China's ex- 
ports, is going the way of her tea ? 

Sundries furnish the evident line of advance for China 
in providing commodities for shipment abroad, their value 
having risen from Tls. 4,487,414, being 7 per cent, of the total 
of all exports, in 1867, to Tls. 132, 008,712, or 58 per cent, 
of the whole, in 1905. In the earlier year the only notice- 
able items were cassia (Tls. 325, 686), cotton (Tls. 458,424), 
mats and matting (Tls. 384,542), and sugar (Tls.462,157). 
Those commodities which were of importance in 1905 are 
considered below. 

Beans are used to make an oil for cooking and, prior 
to the introduction of kerosene, for illuminating purposes ; 
the bye-product of this process, bean-cake, is used to fertilise 
the fields chiefly of Kwangtung and Japan. The foreign 
export of beans is first recorded in 1870 with shipment of 
578,209 piculs, and of bean-cake in 1890 with 96,297 piculs ; 
in 1905 the export of beans was 2,665,523 piculs, of which 
80 per cent, went to Japan, and of bean-cake 2,897,948, 
entirely for Japan ; in addition, over two million piculs of 
beans and two and a half million piculs of bean-cake were 
imported into Kwangtung ports. The chief source of 


production is Manchuria, next to that Shantung, Hupeh, and 
the lower Yangtze. 

Bristles must always be an important export from a 
land in which the pig provides the principal meat for the 
table. Their export is first recorded in 1894, with 
18,378 piculs, increased in 1905 to 39,588 piculs. They 
come chiefly from Tientsin, Chungking, Hankow, and 

Cotton has been referred to before. In 1864, owing to 
the American Civil War, shipments to Europe were made 
amounting to 391,287 piculs, while the import was 4,528 
piculs ; in 1867 the export was 29,391 piculs, and the 
import (from India into the southern ports) 336,072 piculs ; 
in 1902 the export was 774,536 piculs, and the import 
251,219 piculs, introduced from India into the chief cotton- 
producing centre in order to regulate prices ; in 1904, with 
high prices ruling in the Western markets, exports rose to 
1,228,588 piculs, and imports fell to 65,129 piculs; in 1905 
exports were 789,273 piculs, and imports 94,243 piculs. 
The cotton is produced in the entire Yangtze basin from 
Hupeh to Chekiang, Shanghai being the chief centre ; and 
fully 90 per cent, of all shipments go to Japan. 

Fire-crackers and fireworks, almost entirely to help 
young America in celebrating the Glorious Fourth, were 
exported to the extent of 16,186 piculs in 1867, and 128,245 
piculs in 1905 : nearly the whole export came from 

Fibres, hemp, jute, and ramie, are first recorded as an 
export in 1879 with 10,456 piculs ; the export in 1905 was 
262,443 piculs, coming chiefly from Hupeh and Kiangsi, 
and going chiefly to Japan. 

Hides were exported in 1867 to the extent of 146 piculs, 
and of 279,976 piculs in 1904, which was about normal ; 
the export in 1905 was only 189,446 piculs. About half 
came from Hupeh, and next in importance were Szechwan 
and Kwangsi : their destination was fairly divided between 
the principal countries of Europe. 

Matting, entirely the product of the Canton district, 


and almost entirely destined for the United States,, was 
shipped in 1867 to the extent of 89,908 rolls of 40 yards ; 
in 1905 the export was 438,009 rolls. 

Minerals make but a poor showing. With all her vast 
mineral wealth China provides but a small surplus for ship- 
ment abroad. China is a coal country, and the total 
foreign export in 1905 (11,534 tons ) was l ess than 1 per cent, 
of the quantity imported ; it has large fields of iron ore, 
and the export in 1905 (24,600 tons) was less than a sixth 
of the import ; it is a copper country, and, with no export 
in 1905, it drew from abroad 57,000 tons to supply the 
demands of the mints ; it is a tin country, and in 1905 
imported 54,193 piculs, while its export, entirely from 
Yunnan to Hongkong, was 75,302 piculs, this being the first 
year in which the export exceeded the import. Antimony 
is the only other mineral deserving notice ; the export of 
ore, regulus and refined, coming from Hunan, in 1905 was 
94,327 piculs. 

Provisions were shipped in 1905, chiefly for consumption 
at Hongkong, to a value of Tls. 7, 239,410, including cattle, 
sheep, pigs, and goats, valued at Tls. 3, 210,100, and eggs 
valued at Tls. 1,554,607. 

Oil seeds (cotton, rape, and sesamum), have only recently 
entered into the foreign trade. In 1888 the export of 
rape-seed was 873 piculs, and of sesamum-seed 3,027 piculs ; 
in 1898 the export was rape-seed 212 piculs, sesamum- 
seed 47,388 piculs y and cotton-seed 566,105 piculs ; in 1905, 
rape-seed 19,751 piculs (from Hupeh and Anhwei), 
sesamum-seed 575,721 piculs (from Hupeh and Kiangsu), 
and cotton-seed 659,705 piculs. The rape-seed and cotton- 
seed go entirely to Japan, the sesamum-seed chiefly to 
Germany and Japan. 

Skins, consisting mainly of goat, kid, and lamb, coming 
from the Mongolian plateau, chiefly through Tientsin, to 
a secondary degree through Hankow, form an increasing 
industry. The export in 1867 was valued at Tls. 5,501, 
in 1887 at Tls. 652, 174, in 1897 at Tls.3,083,517, and in 
1905 at Tls.9,684,286. Of the export of 1905 the United 


States took 42 per cent., Great Britain 30 per cent., with 
Japan, Italy, and Germany next. 

Straw braid is one of the few home industries introduced 
expressly for the foreign trade. The seat of the industry is 
in the plain bordering the Yellow River in western Shantung 
and southern Chihli, producing a wheat with long straw. 
The export was 1,361 piculs in 1867 ; 25,930 piculs in 1877 ; 
82,413 piculs in 1886 ; 100,184 piculs in 1896 ; and 110,222 
piculs in 1905. The principal demand is for Great Britain, 
which in 1905 took 44 per cent., with France, the United 
States, and Germany next. 

Wool comes mainly from Kansu and Mongolia through 
Tientsin, and to some extent from Tibet through Chungking, 
and, notwithstanding the long caravan journeys, finds an 
increasing market. The export in 1867 was 1,097 piculs ; 
in 1887 this had increased to 56,261 piculs, and in 1897 to 
232,343 piculs. In 1905 the export was 281,294 piculs, 
viz. 35,331 piculs of camels' wool (entirely for England) 
and 245,963 piculs of sheep's wool (mainly to the United 

Balance of Trade 

An essential part of any study of the foreign trade of 
China is the consideration of the means by which the balance 
of indebtedness between China and the outer world is struck. 
Up to 1895 the Empire had practically no foreign debt. As 
the result of the war with Japan which ended in that year a 
foreign debt of over £50,000,000 was incurred ; and the 
indemnities to be paid to foreign powers in settlement of 
the military operations necessitated by the Boxer move- 
ment of 1900 added to the foreign obligations a further 
sum of £67,500,000 ; the annual charge for obligations 
incurred since 1895 is, according to the exchange, between 
Tls.42, 000,000 and Tls.45,000,000. The natural commercial 
effect on the trade of the country would be to increase the 
quantity of commodities required to be exported to maintain 
commercial equilibrium ; but, in fact, the tendency has been 
in the direction of an increase of imports. Considering mer- 


chandise only, passing through the various Custom Houses, 
imports exceeded exports in 1901 by 27 per cent., in 1902 
by 28 per cent, and in 1903 by 31 per cent ; in 1904 the 
excess increased to 43 per cent., and in 1905 to no less 
than 97 per cent., but in these two years the greatly increased 
import trade, apart from any question of increased absorp- 
tive power by the people, was largely financed by remittances 
to maintain the Russian and Japanese armies in the field, 
rendering the conditions of trade abnormal. The year 
1903 must then be taken as the last normal year. Outside 
the maritime Customs, statistics are unknown in China, 
and all that can be done in seeking information is to adopt 
a reasonable working hypothesis, and on it to base a con- 
jecture. With this serious limitation, an attempt * has 
been made to investigate the different liabilities and assets 
of international indebtedness as for 1903. 

Liabilities. — The first is the visible liability of mer- 
chandise imported, valued at Tls.310,453,428, to which 
must be added bullion and coin imported, Tls. 37, 000,000 ; 
in the last is included an estimated sum of Tls. 10, 000,000 
brought back in cash in the pockets of returning emigrants, 
but the treasure movement is obscured by the fact that 
China must return as foreign all movement to and from 
Hongkong, the financial centre for South China. Then 
we have Tls.44,210,000, the annual charge for loans and 
indemnities for 1903 at the exchange of that year. For 
invisible liabilities it is estimated that Tls. 4,320,000 were 
spent for the maintenance of Chinese legations, consulates, 
and students abroad ; and that the net profits of foreign 
residents, merchants, and others, and of foreign shipping 
and insurance companies amounted to Tls. 22, 750,000. 
A further sum of Tls. 5, 000,000 is added as the possible 
value of war material not included in merchandise. The 
total so estimated is Tls. 423,733,428. 

Assets. — The merchandise exported was Tls. 236,205, 162, 
and bullion and coin Tls. 33,046,000, including as before 

* "An Inquiry into the Commercial Liabilities and Assets of 
China in International Trade," by H. B. Morse. 


shipments to Hongkong. Then there is an item of un- 
recorded trade across the land frontier, which, on the 
authority of the Russian statistics of trade with China, 
must be put at over Tls. 20,000,000 excess of exports. 
The money and material provided from abroad for the 
development of railways and mines, a future but not a 
present liability of China, is estimated at Tls.27,000,000. 
The sums required to be remitted for the maintenance of 
foreign legations and consulates, foreign garrisons and 
navies, for the maintenance and repairs of foreign shipping, 
for the upkeep of foreign missions, hospitals, and schools, 
and for the expenditure by foreign travellers, were con- 
sidered in the light of all the information obtainable, and 
were estimated at Tls.5 1,500,000. Finally, there remains 
China's most important invisible asset, her export of brawn 
and brains in the emigration of a portion of her redundant 
population, whether as traders or as laborers, remitting 
to their homes the fruit of their labor in an annual sum 
which, on the lowest possible estimate, is Tls. 73,000,000. 
The total assets so estimated amount to Tls.440,741,162. 



China is a continent, mountains and deserts replacing on 
the west the seas which circumscribe it on the east and 
south ; and no study of its trade conditions would be 
complete which was restricted to its maritime traffic. Prior 
to the application in Europe of the magnetic needle to the 
mariner's compass in the twelfth century, the only traders by 
sea to the land of Sinim were the venturous Arabs ; but 
centuries before that date the Serica vestis had reached 
the West by land transport over the mountains, plateaux, 
and deserts of Central Asia, through the hundred degrees of 
longitude which separated the silkworm from the European 
wearer of its product. These routes were mainly in the 
north. From the north-east the routes taken in the 
seventeenth century and those taken to-day by the Russian 
tea caravans, outflanked the deserts and struck well north 
until they emerged in what is now Siberia. The main 
trade routes however struck north-west through the 
province of Kansu, following those lines which appeared on 
the school maps of the middle of the nineteenth century 
with the mysterious designations Tien Shan Pei Lu and 
Tien Shan Nan Lu, which, being interpreted, mean the 
Routes North and South, respectively, of the Mountains of 
Heaven. This is no longer a through trade route. Another 
such route is that taken to-day in supplying tea and salt 
to Tibet from Szechwan by Tatsienlu, with an alternative 
route by Sungpan ; and another is the now unimportant 
route from Yunnan by Szemao into Burma. 

The same enterprise which built up a foreign trade by 
land, was applied also to the development of internal trade 



between provinces of the size of kingdoms, passing by routes 
many hundreds of miles in length. At times of falling 
dynasties this traffic would become insecure ; but as each 
succeeding dynasty became established in power the ways 
were opened, and a pax Romana allowed the free inter- 
change of commodities between the different parts of the 
empire. In the competition between the coasting trade by 
sea and the internal trade, the latter had many advantages, 
more than compensating for the economic gain from water 
transport in large bulk. On the internal route there were 
no " Rhine Barons " or others to levy illegal toll, while 
the danger from bandits was more than counterbalanced 
by the risk of piracy on the sea ; until less than fifty years 
ago there was no likin or other tax on transit in general ; 
and, while generally water transport could be utilised 
through the whole or the greater part of the distance on 
most of the routes, the cheapness of human labor minimised 
the cost of transport by land. By sea, the clumsy junks 
were at the mercy of the monsoon, making good speed to 
the north during the summer, and to the south in autumn 
and winter, but unable to make commercially profitable 
voyages against the prevailing winds ; while the Custom 
Houses were established at the seaports alone, and, more- 
over, taxed all movement, to home as well as to foreign 
ports, and repeated the tax whenever goods came again 
under their cognisance, as if all previous levy had been 
made by alien, as it was by independent authority. 

There are no records of this internal trade, and its 
component parts can be studied only by the light of the 
coasting trade by steamer which to-day has taken its place 
on many routes. The routes themselves are innumerable, 
but a selection will be made for description of a few of the 
most important, viz : — * 

1. The West River route, west from Canton. 

2. The Cheling Pass route, north-west from Canton. 

3. The Meiling Pass route, north from Canton. 

4. The Min River route, north-west from Foochow 


5. The Lower Yangtze route, as far west as Hupeh 
and Hunan. 

6. The Upper Yangtze route, from Ichang into 

7. The Kweichow route. 

8. The Han River route, from Hankow into Shensi. 

9. The Grand Canal, from Hangchow to Tientsin. 

10. The Shansi route. 

11. The Kiakhta route. 

12. The Manchurian route. 

i. The West River route from Canton commands the 
whole of the trade of Kwangsi, and penetrates into Yunnan 
and Kweichow. At Wuchow the Cassia River provides 
a water-way, interrupted by rapids but navigable by small 
boats, to the provincial capital, Kweilin. Farther up, 
at Tamchow, the route again divides, the river coming 
in from the north-west providing a route, interrupted by 
rapids and shallows, but navigable by boats of 15 tons dead- 
weight capacity, and penetrating to the north-western 
part of Kwangsi and, via. Liuchow and Kingyuan, into 
Kweichow. The southern of the two branches at Tamchow 
continues the name of West River until, some 30 miles 
above Nanning, it divides into the Left Branch continuing 
west to Lungchow, and the Right Branch leading north- 
west to Poseh : to these points boats of 25 tons dead- 
weight capacity can safely pass the rapids. From Poseh runs 
the main trade route for traffic by pack-animal into western 
and central Yunnan. There are no statistics of the Chinese 
produce brought down and sent inland, and the only gauge 
of the volume of traffic on this route is in the quantity of 
foreign goods sent inland under transit pass, which, from 
Canton and Wuchow in 1905, was as follows :— 

No. of Passes. 

Value of Goods, 

To Kwangsi 
,, Kweichow 
„ Yunnan 

. 22,275 
. . 83,228 
.. 5,114 













Before the development of traffic by Mengtsz the Yunnan 
trade by the West River route was very much greater than 
at the present time. From Yunnan and Kweichow comes 
opium, and the tin of Yunnan, which now finds its outlet 
by Mengtsz, formerly followed this route. Great rafts of 
timber are floated down from the mountains of north- 
western Kwangsi. 

2. The Cheling Pass route follows the North River up 
from Canton, and a branch which falls into it from the 
north-west at Shaochow ; thence by porters over the pass 
to the water-ways of Hunan. This pass, of less than 1,500 
feet altitude, offers but slight impediment to the sturdy 
coolies of South China ; but the surveys of the American 
engineers, prospecting for the line of the Hankow-Canton 
railway, have revealed the fact that the true pass is not on 
the line of the old highway, and that for many centuries 
millions of tons of merchandise passing over this route have 
been laboriously carried on men's shoulders to a height 
150 feet higher than nature demanded. The water-ways of 
Hunan are reached at Chenchow, on an affluent of the 
Siang River, and thence traffic passes by small boats down 
into the Siang. At Siangtan, once a place of great import- 
ance with a population estimated at 700,000, transhipment 
was ordinarily effected into the larger deep-draft junks 
plying down the Siang and into the Yangtze. Descending 
the Siang, the traffic then reached the Tungting Lake, a 
lake in summer with vast uncharted shoals, but in winter a 
congeries of wide and shallow channels meandering between 
broad islands of alluvial deposit, and neither in summer 
nor in winter available for commercial use. The main 
stream of traffic skirted the eastern side of the lake and, 
entering the Yangtze at Yochow, descended that stream 125 
miles north-east to Hankow. The lesser part of the traffic 
passed through the crooked channels of the alluvial delta 
of the Siang and the Yuan, forming the south shore of the 
lake, and then, skirting the western shore, passed into 
the Yangtze near Shasi by the canals which were the work 
of the Great Yu in times long gone by ; thence the Yangtze 



furnished a route west into Szechwan. By the Cheling Pass 
route came the teas of Hunan and Hupeh for shipment 
abroad from Canton in the old factory days, and a con- 
servative trade calls those teas to-day, in the land of their 
origin, by the old-time Cantonese names Oonam and Oopack 
(Hunan and Hupeh). By this route, too, passed an enormous 
traffic, of which to-day the only remnant is the amount 
required for local trade by the way. Not a single package 
is now carried through between Canton and Hankow, for, 
even in this land of cheap transport, the cheapness and 
security offered by steam carriage have prevailed, and this 
trade now passes around, via Shanghai, by the sea and the 
Yangtze. The railway taking the Cheling Pass route from 
Canton by Hankow to Peking will adhere cjosely to the air 
line between the two termini. 

3. The Meiling Pass route follows the North River up 
from Canton, and at Shaochow goes north-east to the 
Meiling (Plum Ridge) Pass. This ridge has an elevation 
of 2,000 feet, and the route is through a notch, at an 
altitude of only 1,000 feet, over which a land portage of 
24 miles carries the trader to the waters of the Kan River. 
This river has the ordinary winter shallows of a stream 
running through a deforested country, but has few dangerous 
rapids ; and it leads through the channels of the shallow 
Poyang Lake into the Yangtze near Kiukiang. By this 
route passed, in the old factory days, the teas of Kiangsi and 
Anhwei ; and by this route passed then, and passes now, 
the porcelain of Kingtehchen. The porcelain of to-day, 
however, consists of plain ware sent to Canton to be painted 
with the florid and multicolored designs peculiar to that 
market* A curious instance of the conservatism of Chinese 
trade was shown in 1903. In that year, in the general search 
for additional sources of revenue, an increase was made in 
the rate of likin levied at Canton on porcelain from Kiangsi. 
The trade resented this ; but, instead of resorting to steam 
traffic by the Yangtze and the sea, and thereby escaping 
the likin levied on the inland route, the traders adopted 
the time-honored Chinese method of cessation of all business 


Until their grievance was removed, and the export of porce- 
lain from Canton, from an average of 105,142 piculs in the 
two preceding years, fell to 59,010 piculs in 1904. The 
Meiling is the route taken for centuries by Chinese officials 
proceeding to their posts in the south, and was followed by 
the various foreign embassies going to Peking in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries ; and its continued use as 
a trade route to-day is due to the short length of land 
portage and the slight rise over the pass. 

4. The Min River route serves mainly its own province, 
Fukien. The Min, emptying into the sea at Foochow, 
waters with its ramifications the greater part of the pro- 
vince ; but its chief interest for us lies in the fact that the 
teas of Kiangsi, following this route, found their way to 
Foochow in the interval after Canton lost its monopoly of 
foreign trade, and before Hankow established its firm grasp 
on the market for teas from the Yangtze basin. Down 
this river come to-day the rafts of timber from the mountains 
in, and on the western border of, Fukien, and the paper made 
from their forests and bamboo groves. 

5. The Lower Yangtze is to-day, except for wayside 
traffic, given up to steam. From Shanghai to Hankow the 
winter provides a way for river steamers of from one to two 
thousand tons register, while in summer full-sized ocean 
steamers proceed to Hankow, and at least two battleships 
of 12,000 tons have ascended the river to that point. The 
myriads of junks of former days, whose sails of matting 
reflected the sun in golden patches, have yielded the main 
thoroughfare to their quicker and handier rivals, and have 
been driven to the byways of trade ; but to this general 
statement there are some exceptions. Salt, owing to the 
government connection with the traffic, continues to go 
solely by junk ; and steamer preponderance is manifest only 
as far up the river as Hankow. The Hunan trade with 
Hankow has not yet taken to steam ; the huge timber 
rafts continue to float down to Hankow and below ; the 
coal continues to come to Hankow in roughly constructed 
barges, which are there broken up ; and the tea and rice 


continue to be carried in the old-time junks, which take 
back from Hankow their freights of the products of foreign 
countries and of the southern provinces. Nor on the 
Middle Yangtze, from Hankow to Ichang, has steam entirely 
conquered. The trade of central Hupeh, which, if steamer- 
borne, would pass through the port of Shasi, continues to 
follow the canals which subtend the arc formed there by 
the Yangtze ; and the traffic of West China continues to 
pass over this portion of the route in as great volume by 
junk as by steamer. The trade by the Yangtze route may 
be gauged by the figures for the value of the net import 
and original export by steamer alone at the ports from 
Chinkiang up, which in 1905 were as follows : — 

Net Imports . . . . . . . . 129,407,753 

Original Exports 118,104,228 

Total . . . . 247,511,981 

A moderate estimate for the junk trade would carry this 
total well over Tls.300,000,000. 

6. The Upper Yangtze route is one continuous struggle 
of man against the forces of nature. The Yangtze, flowing 
for the upper two-thirds of its course through a valley 
nowhere wider than the river bed,* emerges from this 
narrow channel at Ichang after passing the famous Yangtze 
Gorges. The flow of the river past Ichang is 560,000 cubic 
feet per second as an average for the whole year round ; 
and this volume of water, in passing through the Ichang 
Gorge, flows through a channel contracted to a width 
nowhere exceeding 250 yards and in places diminished to 
100 yards, hemmed in by precipitous cliffs on either hand ; 
in the Fengsiang (Wind-box) Gorge, 100 miles farther up 
stream, the channel is even more restricted and the cliffs 
more precipitous. The average speed of the current 
throughout the year is not less than five knots an hour, 

* " The Far East," by Archibald Little. 



and at times, especially during the summer floods, and in 
places, this speed rises to twelve knots and even more. 
The swift current drives the boatmen to tracking on their 
upward journey, and the trackers find but scanty foothold 
on the steep hill sides, and in many places are driven to 
follow paths which are little more than goat tracks, traced 
on the sides of the cliffs, up to a hundred feet or more above 
the level of the water. This is the least of their difficulties. 
From the upper end of the Ichang Gorge toFengtu, adistance 
of 300 miles, the river is strewn with rapids, full forty being 
considered worthy of enumeration in that distance, not 
including mere whirlpools and races. Of the difficulties 
apart from the rapids the following episode, occurring before 
the lowest rapid was reached, furnishes an illustration. 

" October 6th. The boats under way 6 a.m., tracking 

up the right bank. At 8.30 a.m. the tracking-line of 

No. 1 boat broke, and in less than fifteen minutes we 

had drifted back nearly to last night's anchorage/ ' * 

The tracking-lines are made of long strips of bamboo 

plaited together into a cable as thick as a man's arm. Of 

the ascent of the rapids Mr. Hobson says — 

" More dangerous navigation it is impossible 

to conceive ; double tracking-lines having been paid 

out, extra breastlines provided, and extra trackers 

engaged, we started from under the lee of the rocks, 

outside which the mighty torrent poured. Inch by 

inch only did the boats advance, until by nightfall 

we reached the shelter of a small bay beyond." 

At several rapids he records that the trackers of three boats 

were put on to haul one. From Mr. Little's account f we 

gather some illuminating sentences describing the difficulty. 

" We had a tough job to get round the point which 

forms the western limit of the gorge, the boatmen 

clinging on to the crevices in the rock, with long 

bamboos armed with small steel hooks. . . . Half 

* " Ichang to Chungking," 1890, by H. E. Hobson. 

t " Through the Yangtze Gorges," by Archibald J. Little. 


of our crew then drag the boat by main force around 
the point, those remaining on board fending her off 
the rocks, the water meanwhile boiling and foaming 
under the bows and threatening to swamp her. . . . 
The hookers have to be mighty careful never to lose 
their hold, as that involves drifting back into the 
current . . . losing in a minute or two the fruits of 
hours of work. . . . The boat heeled over, threatening 
to capsize on the instant ; fortunately our trackers 
promptly cast off the tow-line in the nick of time, 
and we incurred no other danger than being swept 
violently down-stream in the eight-knot current." 
The stream thus characterised furnishes the only water 
outlet for the trade of one of the richest provinces of China, 
the alternative routes being mountain roads over a much 
accidented country intersected by deep ravines, feasible 
only for light packages carried on men's shoulders. By 
this route the traffic is carried in junks of varying size. The 
largest are of a dead-weight carrying capacity of 60 to 70 
tons, with a regular crew of 24 and a force of 85 trackers 
(re-enforced at the worst rapids), engaged for the upward 
voyage ; junks of medium size carry 30 to 40 tons, with a 
crew of 18, and 45 trackers ; small junks carry 14 to 20 
tons, with a crew of 10 and 20 trackers. The upward 
journey takes about four weeks at the most favorable 
season, while in the summer, against the full strength of 
the Yangtze in flood, the voyage may be extended to three 
or even four months : under the most favorable con- 
ditions the average rate of progress does not exceed 15 
miles a day, and it may fall as low as 3 miles a day through 
the whole of the course of 420 miles from Ichang to Chung- 
king. It is on the upward journey that most of the accidents 
occur, and full a tenth of the junks arriving at Chungking 
arrive with their cargo more or less damaged by water, 
while total loss is not uncommon. Down stream sails 
are furled and masts struck, and the junks, driven by oars 
to give sufficient speed for steerage way, are taken down 
in charge of the skilled pilots working the route, and seldom 


meet with accident : the downward journey may take 
from three or four days to a week. By this route merchants 
may elect to pass their goods through the maritime Customs 
or to pay likin on the way, each offering certain advantages 
for Chinese produce upward or downward. In 1905 the 
value of the trade passing the maritime Customs was, 
upward Tls.16,562,371, downward Tls. n, 169,256, total 
Tls. 27,73 1, 627 ; a fair allowance for the goods passing 
the likin offices would bring the total value of the water- 
borne traffic of Szechwan to Tls. 40,000,000. 

7. The Kweichow route up the Yuan River from 
Changteh and the Tungting Lake, is barred by numerous 
rapids and available only for small boats. The downward 
traffic consists of timber, opium, and mining products ; 
the officially declared value of the timber is Tls.6,000,000 
a year, from which, in China, a true value of Tls. 10,000,000 
and more may be inferred. The upward traffic is not 
great. The only index to its volume is the value of the 
foreign goods sent under transit pass from Hankow into 
Kweichow, valued in 1904 at Tls. 1,207,695, and in 1905 
at Tls. 835, 277 ; by other routes in 1905 Kweichow re- 
ceived foreign goods under transit pass to the value of 
Tls. 4,856,903 by the West River, Tls.598,432 from Mengtsz, 
and Tls.30,636 from Tengyueh by land route crossing the 
whole width of Yunnan. 

8. The Han River route from Hankow into Shensi 
presents few difficulties to navigation, beyond the gradually 
diminishing depth of water, as far up as Sichwanting in the 
south-west corner of Honan, and for small boats as far as 
Shangnan in Shensi, a distance of 1,730 li (nominally 575 
miles) from Hankow. From that point, land transport 
for 320 li (nominally 100 miles) over the rugged Tsingling 
mountains, carries goods to Sianfu, the capital of Shensi. 
Beyond Sianfu land transport alone is available to other 
parts of the province, and on to Kansu, Mongolia, and 
Siberia. Tea, less in amount than by Tientsin and Kiakhta 
but still in considerable quantity, goes by this route over- 
land to Russia ; the quantity fluctuates, and has been 


small in the past few years, but in 1896 was valued at 
Tls. 1,617,401, and in 1900 at Tls. 1,032, 471 ; in the former 
year the greater part was tea leaf, 78,297 piculs, and 
in the latter year brick tea, 70,905 piculs. The foreign 
goods going from Hankow under transit pass in 1905 into 
Shensi were valued at Tls. 825, 540, and into Kansu at 
Tls. 26,319. 

9. The Grand Canal furnishes an inland water route 
from Hangchow to Tientsin, a distance of 900 miles, cutting 
through the flat alluvial plains and intersecting the provinces 
of Chekiang, Kiangsu, Shantung, and Chihli. The oldest 
section, from the Yangtze to the Hwai, was opened for 
traffic B.C. 486, and is therefore 2400 years old. The next 
section to be made was that from the Yangtze at Chinkiang 
to Hangchow, which was constructed between a.d. 605 
and 617, and this section was much improved by the 
Southern Sung Emperors, who had their capital at Hang- 
chow. Kublai Khan (a.d. 1260-1295), besides beginning 
(but not completing) the canal from Kiaochow intended 
to cut off the mountain mass of Shantung, improved, 
deepened, straightened, widened, and extended the Grand 
Canal under the supervision of the famous mathematician 
Kwo Show-king as engineer ; by him, the capital having 
for the first time been established at Peking, the water-way 
was extended to the north from the then course of the 
Yellow River, where it was joined by the Grand Canal at 
Tsingkiangpu, over the summit level skirting the higher 
land of Shantung, until it joined the Wei River, which, 
improved, became then the Grand Canal to Tientsin. 
Succeeding Emperors of the Ming and Tsing Dynasties, 
until within the past fifty years of material national de- 
cadence, have spared no effort to maintain the canal as a 
navigable water-way ; even when, in 1853, the Yellow River 
took its last plunge to the north-east and£cut the canal 
farther to the north, the crisis was met and the intersection 
of the two streams duly provided for. Starting from 
Hangchow the canal goes by Kashing to Soochow, a distance 
of 100 miles, and thence by Wusih and Changchow through 





Bridge over Grand Canal at Wusih. 

Grand Canal passing through Wusih. 


long straight stretches to Chinkiang, another 100 miles. It 
is here unlike our preconceived ideas of a canal — a current- 
less water-way barely wide enough to allow two streams of 
boats to pass each other — and has often a width of over a 
hundred feet between its sides, faced in many parts of its 
course with cut stone bunding. Many of its picturesque 
accessories were destroyed by the Vandals of China, the 
Taiping rebels, but much still remains to attest its past 
magnificence ; here and there are fine stone bridges spanning 
the main canal, some with their three arches, graceful to 
an extreme, others with a single arch, lofty and imposing, 
and well adapted for a country with no wheeled traffic ; 
along the banks are numerous specimens of single-span 
hump-backed bridges by which the tow-path is carried over 
side canals connecting with the system of canals which 
intersect the country for many miles ; and from the canal 
are to be seen on both sides many memorial arches of 
stone and lofty tapering pagodas. In these 200 miles 
there is no difference of level, and therefore no locks ; and 
after all these years of neglect there is everywhere a safe 
depth of 5 feet of water at the lowest stage, the depth at 
the Hangchow end being ordinarily 7 feet at low-water 
stage, rising after prolonged rains to n and at times to 
13 and more feet ; only at Tanyang, some 20 miles south 
from Chinkiang, the depth is frequently too little for the 
larger boats during the season of low water. In this section 
boats up to 40 tons dead-weight capacity ply regularly. 
At Chinkiang the traffic crosses the Yangtze and enters the 
oldest section of the canal, which, passing Yangchow, goes 
to Tsingkiangpu, 130 miles from Chinkiang ; in this section 
there is a constant depth of water sufficient for boats of 
30 to 40 tons capacity. Of this part of the country it is 
that Mr. Parker says : — 

" The Chinese engineers who manipulate the 
complicated system of lakes and levels forming 
the network about the Grand Canal and Hungtseh 
Marsh, are almost as expert in an empirical sense as 
the wary Dutchmen who keep an ever-watchful eye 


on the Zuider Zee and the intricate system of 
Netherlands dykes. The supply of water and the 
sacrifice of land are carefully measured and jealously 
watched with a view to keeping open the canal and 
preventing disasters of great magnitude." 
The next section is the worst : it starts from Tsingkiangpu 
and, passing Tsining, debouches on the present course of 
the Yellow River near Tungping, full 450 miles from Chin- 
kiang. This section was made by improving and connecting 
existing rivers, and follows all their original meanderings. 
Though the country is flat, there are still some differences 
of level — of 20 or 30 feet at most — and these are provided 
for, not by locks, which do not exist in China, but by 
barrages across the canal, over which the boats, after 
discharging their cargo, are hauled by windlasses. The 
whole of this part is much neglected and silted up, and is 
only available generally for navigation during the summer, 
and even then is generally traversed only by the tribute 
rice boats which go together in fleets. North of the Yellow 
River the newest part of the canal — made by Kublai Khan — 
continues until it strikes the Wei River, cut in places to a 
depth 60 or 70 feet below the level of the surrounding 
country, and prolongs the route for another 250 miles to 
its northern end at Tientsin ; water transport continues 
for another 120 miles by the winding course of the Peiho 
to Tungchow, and thence, for tribute rice only, for 13 miles 
by an artificial canal to the government granaries on the 
eastern side of Peking. This is the Grand Canal, from 
Hangchow by Chinkiang to Tientsin, and thence to Peking, 
a main artery of trade traversing a network of water-ways 
which provide means of transport for a country incredibly 
rich in material resources. No estimate can be formed 
of the number of millions in which the value of the traffic 
on its surface must be stated ; its chief value to the empire 
lies in the fact that it provides a safe inland route for a 
thousand miles from south to north in a country in which, 
in the past, time has had no value, and that thereby trade 
was enabled to escape the perils of the sea passage. One 







small indication of the extent of traffic is found in the value 
of the transit pass trade with Shantung passing the Chin- 
kiang Customs, traversing a distance along the Grand 
Canal of 250 miles, a part of it the worst portion of the route, 
to the nearest markets in Shantung, valued in 1904 at 
Tls. 3,646, 000, and in 1905 at Tls. 3, 331,000. 

10. The Shansi route is mentioned to illustrate the 
medieval conditions prevailing in China wherever transport 
by water is not available. The province may be described 
either as an accidented plateau or an unaccidented moun- 
tain region, with a steep escarpment on the east, where it 
rises some 4,000 feet from the plain of Chihli. The route 
followed by the railway in course of construction from 
Chentow, near Chengtingfu, in Chihli, to Taiyuanfu, the 
capital of Shansi, affords the direct route from the lowland 
into the heart of the province ; but this is what may be 
termed an express package route, short and direct, but too 
difficult for ordinary purposes of trade. When the great 
famine of 1877, which more than decimated the province, 
made it necessary to send supplies of food to Shansi, this 
route was naturally selected to meet the urgency of the 
case ; and the result was visible in the piles of grain in bags, 
the broken carts, and the foundered mules which strewed 
the road leading up to the plateau. Another route avail- 
able for access to Shansi passes from Kaifeng in Honan up 
the valley of the Yellow River to the south-western corner 
of Shansi, thence up the valley of the Fenho toward 
Taiyuanfu ; neither the Yellow River nor its tributaries 
are generally navigable, and this circuitous route is in the 
main available only for land transport. A third route, 
and the one generally adopted for the transport of mer- 
chandise into Shansi, follows in its beginning the next 
route to be mentioned, the Kiakhta route, leaving it at 
Kalgan (Changkiakow), entering Shansi at its northern 
end, and preceeding by Tatungfu south to Taiyuanfu. 
The length of land transport from the nearest navigable 
water-way by this route is not less than 400 miles, and 
by the road fiom Chengtingfu ib only 150 miles, yet this 


is the best and cheapest and the most frequented route 
into Shansi. 

11. The Kiakhta route is, and has been for more than 
two centuries, one of the most important trade routes in 
the Empire. North of the Yangtze communication from 
east to west is blocked by steep mountain slopes, the Yellow 
River acts as a barrier to trade, and north of the Yellow 
River the elevated mass of Shansi interposes a further 
barrier. It is only when the elevated but generally traver- 
sable plains of Mongolia are reached, that a way is found 
available for traffic from the eastern shore to the extreme 
west. The main route from Tienstin and Peking goes by 
Kalgan across Mongolia to Kiakhta, and, branching off at 
Kalgan, the traffic goes also west to Shensi, and, farther 
west, to Kansu ; camels and mule carts furnish the means 
of transport. By this route goes the caravan tea for Russia 
and brick tea for Siberia, and by this route and its branches 
Mongolia, Shansi, northern Shensi, and Kansu obtain their 
supplies and forward their products, making Tientsin the 
shipping port for a hinterland extending considerably over 
a thousand miles to the west and north-west. Statistics 
give us but a slight indication of the volume of this traffic, 
burdened by the cost of land transport over long distances, 
but a few items may be noted. In 1905 tea with a net 
weight of 357,265 piculs, valued at Tls.2,861,660, crossed 
the Mongolian frontier by this route ; and in the same 
year foreign products were forwarded from Tientsin, under 
transit pass, to Shansi valued at Tls. 5, 664,950, to Shensi 
Tls. 74,509, to Kansu and Turkestan Tls. 679, 575, and to 
Mongolia Tls. 217,300. Certain articles of Chinese produce 
shipped from Tientsin can be identified as probably 
originating in Mongolia or in Kansu ; among these are 
wool (of camel, goat, and sheep), of which the Tientsin 
export in 1905 was 186,918 piculs valued at Tls. 3,326,000, 
and skins (goat and sheep), valued at Tls.3,725,000. 

12. The Manchurian route is important for the future, 
as soon as peace conditions shall have been fully restored, 
because of the construction of the railway from Talien 


(Tairen or Dalny) to Harbin, and thence east to Vladivostock 
and north-west into Russian territory ; and by this railway 
in 1903 went 378,739 piculs of Chinese tea. My present 
concern is, however, with the internal trade of China. This 
route, proceeding east from Peking and north-east from 
Tientsin, passes through the narrow defile between the 
mountains and the sea at Shanhaikwan, where the Great 
Wall ends on the shore, and then goes on to Ningyuan, where 
three hundred years ago, the Manchu invaders met their 
only serious check. By this route came the Manchus, and 
by this route have come tribute and ginseng from Korea, 
until, twelve years ago, the tribute ceased. With the 
development of steam traffic trade between Chihli and 
Manchuria by this portal fell away, until the exigencies of 
war shut out the merchants of Newchwang from their hinter- 
land and drove its trade temporarily to Tientsin, from which 
port the foreign goods sent by railway into Manchuria under 
transit pass in 1905 were valued at Tls .4,925,000. From 
Newchwang the Liao River in summer and the frozen plain 
of Manchuria in winter furnish the means of distributing 
a trade which, import and export, was in 1905 valued 
at more than Tls.70,000,000. 

These are the principal internal trade routes of the 
Chinese Empire, thronged with boats or with the carts and 
pack-animals engaged in the interchange of commodities 
between a race of traders developed through the course 
of many centuries. By these routes comes the Chinese 
produce intended for export from the shipping ports, and by 
these routes foreign products are distributed for consumption 
in the marts of the interior ; but there are no statistics to 
show the volume of the enormous traffic which originates 
and ends within the limits of the Empire. Some slight 
indication is given by the quantities of a few articles of the 
purely domestic trade conveyed by the steamers which, 
on some routes, have now displaced, wholly or partially, 
the old primitive means of conveyance ; and a few brief 
notes are given on the more important commodities. 

Rice, shipped from producing to non-producing, from 


agricultural to industrial districts, has always been an 
important item in the domestic trade of China, shipment to 
foreign countries being prohibited. From Hunan it is 
estimated that an average annual surplus of 1,000,000 
piculs are available for shipment to Hankow. Anhwei is 
the principal rice-field of the Empire, and from its port, 
Wuhu, were shipped 5,621,143 piculs in 1904. and 8,438,093 
piculs in 1905. From Chinkiang the export in 1905 was 
619,190 piculs, and from Shanghai 1,706,845 piculs. Of 
these shipments 2,804,164 piculs were sent to Tientsin, 
1,553,894 piculs being tribute rice and the rest in merchants' 
hands, and 1,337,479 piculs to Chef 00 ; except some small 
shipments to other southern ports, the balance went to 
the industrial centres of Kwangtung, in addition to 2,227,916 
piculs of foreign rice, to supplement the produce of the 
rich rice fields of that province. 

Beans were shipped in 1903 (much of the trade was 
diverted from Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese war) 
to the extent of 3,423,766 piculs from Newchwang, 1,928,543 
piculs from Hankow, 404,063 piculs from Chinkiang, and 
enough from other ports to make a total of 6,327,080 piculs ; 
of this quantity 1,836,707 piculs were shipped to Japan, 
some 72,000 piculs to other foreign destinations, and the 
balance, except 590,000 piculs for Amoy, went to the 
Kwangtung ports, Canton and Swatow. In the same year 
Bean-cake was shipped, 4,553,367 piculs from Newchwang, 
1,192,948 piculs from Chefoo, 583,095 piculs from Hankow, 
423,447 piculs from Chinkiang, with total shipments of 
7,030,325 piculs ; of this quantity 3,400,444 piculs went 
to Japan, and the balance, except 731,161 piculs for Amoy, 
went to Kwangtung. 

Coal shipments in 1905 amounted to 193,759 tons from 
Tientsin and Chingwangtao, 16,887 tons from Kiaochow, 
5,793 tons from Chungking, and 72,422 tons from Hankow, 
with a total of 290,477 tons. Of this 10,384 tons were 
shipped to Hongkong and Indo-China, 120,766 tons to 
Shanghai, and the balance to other Chinese ports, chiefly 
Chefoo, Wuhu, and Chinkiang. 


Cotton hand-woven cloth was shipped by steamer in 
1905 to the extent of 229,609 piculs, equivalent to about 
100,000,000 square yards, of which 189,649 piculs originated 
in Shanghai. This went pretty much to every place where 
there are Chinese, the largest proportion to Manchuria, but 
32,116 piculs to the Chinese colonies in foreign parts. In 
i904Newchwang imported in addition 82,667 piculs by junk. 

Ground-nuts were shipped to the extent of 183,601 piculs 
from Tientsin, 109,042 piculs from Chefoo, 79,726 piculs 
from Hankow, and 489,353 piculs from Chinkiang, with 
total shipments of 978,519 piculs ; of this quantity 24,600 
piculs went to foreign countries, and 912,555 piculs to Canton. 

Hemp, Jute, and Ramie shipments amounted to 365,988 
piculs, of which 153,005 piculs came from Hankow and 
113,634 piculs from Kiukiang ; 134,002 piculs went to Japan 
and 128,441 piculs to other foreign countries, leaving 
103,545 piculs for home consumption. 

Medicines of the Chinese pharmacopoeia were shipped 
to a value of Tls. 1,082,247 fr° m Chungking, Tls. 1,050,853 
from Hankow (much of it the product of Szechwan, coming 
by junk), with a total of Tls.4,854,835, which was dis- 
tributed to every part of China, Tls. 1,875, 825 going to 
Hongkong for the Chinese there and in other parts of the 
outside world. 

Musk comes chiefly from Tibet via Chungking, but 
6,400 ounces reached its market in 1905 through Tientsin, 
in a total supply of 60,885 ounces. Of this, 29,717 ounces 
went to foreign countries, leaving an equal quantity for 
the delectation of Chinese nostrils. 

Oil expressed from beans, ground-nuts, and the seeds of 
the Camellia oleifera and the Aleurites cor data, provides the 
Chinese housekeeper with fat for cooking and for illumination. 
Shipments in 1905 amounted to 1,030,701 piculs, of which 
33,373 piculs (116,498 piculs in 1903) came from Newchwang, 
J 68,333 piculs from Kiaochow, 419,444 piculs from Hankow, 
171,310 piculs from Chinkiang, and 148,915 piculs from 
Shanghai. It was imported into every port where it is not 


Oilseeds were shipped in 1905 to the extent of 1,581,514 
piculs. Cotton-seed supplied 657,379 piculs, the entire 
amount going to Japan. Rape-seed shipments in 1902 were 
223,149 piculs, but in 1905 only 28,919 piculs, the greater 
part going to Japan. Sesamum-seed was 895,216 piculs, of 
which 379,530 piculs went to Europe, chiefly to Germany, 
39,911 piculs to Egypt, and 125,474 piculs to Japan ; the 
balance of shipments remaining for home consumption 
amounted to 320,000 piculs. 

Silk in its raw state, when not exported to foreign 
countries, is generally woven in the producing district. Of 
silk piece goods the shipments in 1905 amounted to 26,926 
piculs, valued at Tls. 19,747,539. Of this 9,793 piculs 
went to Hongkong for further distribution, and 2,597 piculs 
to other foreign ports, leaving 14,536 piculs, valued at 
Tls. 10,849,912, for home consumption in other than the 
original producing districts. 

Sugar was shipped to the extent of 1,481,524 piculs, 
almost entirely from Kwangtung ports, and found its market 
in the Yangtze and northern ports. This was in addition 
to 4,156,663 piculs imported from abroad. 

Vegetable tallow, expressed from the seeds of the Stillingia 
sebifera, was shipped, almost entirely from Hankow, to the 
extent of 167,160 piculs. Of this 67,277 piculs were shipped 
abroad, chiefly to Italy, leaving 100,000 piculs for home 

Tobacco, leaf or prepared and cut, was shipped to the 
amount of 529,253 piculs, of which 216,704 piculs came from 
Hankow, 98,522 piculs from Kiukiang, and 182,346 piculs 
from Kwangtung ports, and it goes wherever there are 
Chinese. This was in addition to cigarettes, Chinese made, 
valued at Tls. 1,667,698, shipped coastwise, and cigarettes, 
valued at Tls.4,427,171, and cigars, worth Tls.381,466, im- 
ported from foreign countries. 

This volume deals with the past and the present, and 
not with the future, but a few words must be said on the 



traffic by railway. The railways completed or actually 
under construction on Chinese soil at the end of 1906 were 
as follows : — 

Province tl 
which pa; 



n miles. 

Points served. 






(Irkutsk), Manchuli, Harbin, 

Pogranichnaia, (Vladivostock) 




Harbin, Kwanchengtze 




Kwanchengtze, Moukden, Sinmin- 
fu, Liaoyang, Newchwang, 

Talien, Port Arthur 




Moukden, Antung 




Kowpangtze, Sinminfu 



Peking, Tientsin, Chinwangtao, 

Manchuria f . . 

Kowpangtze, Newchwang 




Peking, Tungchow 

l 3 




Peking, Kalgan 







Peking, Paotingfu, Chengting, 


Weihwei, Chengchow, Hankow 




Taokow, Weihwei, Tsinghwa 





Chengting, Taiyuanfu 




Kaifeng, Chengchow, Honan fu . . 




Tsingtau, Tsinan, Poshan 



Hwangtaikiao, Lokow 




Shanghai, Soochow, Chinkiang, 





Hangchow city, Hangchow settle- 





g •• 

Pingsiang, Chiichow 



Swatow, Chaochowfu 



Kungyik, Sunning, Samkahoi 


Canton, Samshui 


Kwangtung } 

Canton, Chiichow, Changsha, Han- 







Hokow, Mengtsz, Yunnanfu 





The Chinese people have taken very kindly to railways, 



and the passenger traffic is already considerable. The 
development of goods traffic is a subject for future investiga- 
tion. At Tientsin, not including steamer cargoes coming 
from and going to Tangku and Chinwangtao, the trade with 
the interior carried by railway in 1905 was valued at 
Tls. 51, 500,000 ; in the same year the Tientsin trade by 
the Grand Canal was valued at Tls.21, 000,000, and that 
between Tientsin and Paoting by the (Chihli) West River 
at Tls.23,500,000. The line from Tsingtau to Tsinan in 
Shantung carried 303,000 tons of merchandise and 795,000 
passengers during 1905. At Hankow, in the same year, a 
sum was collected for likin on goods carried by rail, which, 
capitalised, represents a value of Tls.6, 000,000 for mer- 
chandise carried over a road which was not a trade route in 
the past. These are indications that even of stagnating 
China it may be said e pur si muove. 



Opium presents a thorny subject to handle for any writer. 
If he is a partisan of the opium trade, his tendency is strong 
to leave the ground with which he may be familiar, that of 
commercial dealings and statistics, and to try to demonstrate 
the innocuousness of the drug as smoked by the Chinese—* 
to compare it to the relatively harmless ante-prandial glass 
of sherry. If his mission is to denounce the opium traffic, 
he invariably seems impelled, by an irresistible inclination, 
to leave the high moral ground on which he is unassailable, 
and descend into the arena of facts and figures, with which 
he is not likely to be so familiar, and among which his pre- 
disposition will lead him to pass by or to misinterpret those 
which make against his case. The writer who tries to 
investigate the facts with no predisposition to either side, 
is likely to find himself branded as a trimmer by the one 
party and a Laodicean by the other, with no opportunity 
to defend himself. This chapter falls into the third category, 
and an attempt will be made to present the general facts of 
the history of opium in China, in such a way that either 
party, by judicious selection of passages, may find arguments , 
with which to confute its opponents. There will be no 
attempt to elucidate the really vital point in the opium 
question, the moral aspect pure and simple. 

The Poppy * 

Previous to the Tang Dynasty (a.d. 618) the poppy was 
apparently unknown to the Chinese botanists and physicians, 

* " The Poppy in China," by J. Edkins. 


The first mention in literature is in the " Supplementary 
Herbalist " of Chen Tsang-chi, an author writing in the first 
half of the eighth century, who quotes from an earlier lost 
writer, Sung Yang-tze, a statement that " the poppy has 
four petals, white or red. . . . The seeds are in a bag (capsule 
described) . . . being like those of millet." At this time the 
Arabs had been trading with China for a full century. The 
second reference is in the " Book on the Culture of Trees " 
by Kwo To-to, a writer of the latter part of the eighth century 
living in the inland province of Shensi. The poet Yung Tao, 
a resident of Szechwan in the closing years of the Tang 
Dynasty (ended 906), wrote a poem describing the poppy 
growing in the plains near his home. 

Medicinal Use 

In the " Herbalist's Treasury," composed by order of 
the Emperor by a commission of nine in 973, is a reference 
to the medicinal use of the poppy : "Its seeds have healing 
power. When men . . . they may be benefited by 
mixing these seeds with bamboo juice boiled into gruel, 
and taking the mixture." About the same period the 
poet Su Tung-po says in one of his poems, " the boy may 
prepare for you the broth of the poppy." His brother Su 
Che wrote " A Poem on the cultivation of the medicinal 
plant Poppy," in which he says : "I built a house on the 
west of the city. . . . The gardener came to me to say 
' The poppy is a good plant to have.' ... Its seeds are like 
autumn millet ; when ground they yield a sap like cow's 
milk ; when boiled they become a drink fit for Buddha. 
Old men whose powers have decayed . . . should take 
this drink. Use a willow mallet and a stone basin to 
bruise ; boil in water that has been sweetened with honey. 
(When depressed) then I have but to drink a cup of 
this poppy-seed decoction. I laugh and am happy. I 
have come to Yingchwan (his later home) and am wandering 
on the banks of its river. I seem to be climbing the slopes 
of Mount Lu (home of his boyhood) in the far west." In 
the Herbalist of Su Sung, prepared by order of the Emperor 

OPIUM 325 

about the year 1057, it is stated that " the poppy is found 
everywhere. . . . There are two kinds, one with red 
flowers, one with white. . . . When the capsules have 
become dry and yellow, they may be plucked. ... In 
cases of nausea it will be found serviceable to administer 
a decoction of poppy-seeds made in the following way. . ." 

A medical writer, Lin Hung, probably of the twelfth 
century, makes the first reference to the use of the capsules, 
which contain the juice from which opium is prepared. 
He directs that the entire poppy head be taken, washed, 
and the juice pressed out and filtered, and then boiled 
and afterward steamed : the residue may then be taken 
out and " made up into cakes shaped like a fish." The 
result of this process is opium, mixed with the impurity of 
the vegetable substance of the capsule. Three other 
writers of the same period, Yang Shih-ying, Wang Chiu, and 
Wang Shih, refer explicitly to the merits of the poppy 
capsule in curing dysentery. Three writers on medical 
subjects of the thirteenth century, Liu Ho-kien, Li Kao, 
and Wei I-lin, and one of the fourteenth century, Chu 
Chen-heng, also describe the mode of preparing the " fish- 
cake " paste from the capsule and its use in the pharma- 
copoeia. The last-named states " it is used also for diarrhoea 
and dysentery accompanied by local inflammation ; though 
its effects are quick, great care must be taken in using it, 
because it kills like a knife." 

The first reference to scoring the fresh capsule in situ 
to obtain the inspissated juice, which by manipulation 
becomes opium, is in the writings of Wang Hi, who died 
in 1488 ; he says, " Opium is produced in Arabia from 
poppies with red flowers . . . after the flower has faded 
the capsule while still fresh is pricked for the juice." 
Wang Hi was Governor for twenty years of the province 
of Kansu, where he would come in contact with Moham- 
medans, from whom he could learn of Arab arts and in- 
dustries. In the " Eastern Treasury of Medicine," a 
Korean work of the same period, is given an exact account 
of the method of scoring the capsule, gathering the exuded 


sap, and drying it in the sun, much as practised to-day ; 
and there can be little doubt that the preparation of opium 
was introduced into China through Arab channels by the 
end of the fifteenth century. The " Introduction to 
Medicine " of Li Ting, in the middle of the sixteenth century, 
gives an exact account of the method of preparing opium, 
under the name A-fu-yung. The Arabs, in taking the 
Greek name opium ottlov), transformed it into afyun. 
In China the provinces along the coast have transliterated 
the name opium into ya-pien, by which the drug is generally 
known ; but in the inland province of Yunnan, where the 
Mohammedan influence has always been strong, and the 
Mohammedan population predominated up to the Panthay 
rebellion (1867) and the resultant massacres, opium of 
indigenous production is to this day referred to in official 
documents, tax receipts, etc., as fu-yung, which, except as 
a truncated form of a-fu-yung, is unintelligible in Chinese. 

Opium Smoking 

It may be said broadly that, while all other opium- 
using peoples take it by the mouth and stomach, the Chinese 
alone smoke it. 

Opium smoking came in through tobacco smoking. 
As we have seen (Chapter IX.*) the Spanish occupied the 
Philippines from the west in 1543, and made their first 
attempt to trade with China in 1575 ; thereafter they left 
the development of the trade between China and Manila 
entirely to the Chinese. Through the Philippines the 
American narcotic, tobacco, was introduced at Amoy, 
and thence to Formosa, which was in process of colonisation 
from Amoy in that period. In the " Notes on the Conduct 
of Business " published about 1650, the year 1620 is given 
as the date of the introduction, about the time of the 
" Count erblaste to Tobacco " of King James the Sixth of 
Scotland and First of England. The Chinese Emperors were 
animated by the same feelings as King James, and the 

* Page 271. 

OPIUM 327 

last of the Ming Emperors (1628-44) prohibited tobacco 
smoking in his dominions. The first of the Manchu 
Emperors, before his occupation of Peking, while he was 
Emperor of the Manchus but not of the Chinese, issued in 
1641 an edict on archery, in which he says : " To smoke 
tobacco is a fault, but not so great a fault as to neglect 
practice with the bow. As to the prohibition of tobacco 
smoking, it became impossible to maintain it because you 
princes and others smoked privately, though not publicly ; 
but as to the use of the bow, this must not be neglected." 
Other prohibitive edicts followed, but were quite as in- 
effective ; and to-day in China, with few exceptions, every 
man, woman, and weaned child is a smoker of tobacco : 
the " Society of Total Abstainers " (from wine, tobacco, and 
tea) is in times of trouble classed with the secret societies, 
for which extermination is the prescribed treatment. 

Formosa is a land of jungle and malaria, and where 
malaria prevails opium is a natural resource, as exemplified 
by the opium pills of the Norfolk fen-men a short century 
ago. Of the tropical jungle we have a note of Jacobus 
Bontius, a Dutch physician of Java, dated Batavia, 1629, 
in which he says that " unless we had opium to use in 
these hot countries, in cases of dysentery, cholera, burning 
fever, and various bilious affections, we should practise 
medicine in vain." In Formosa malaria is deadly to this 
day, and the early colonists mixed with their tobacco 
various ingredients to neutralise the effects of the fever, 
among them opium and arsenic : the latter is still used 
by the Chinese in what is called " water tobacco," and is 
prescribed in cases of malaria by Western physicians when 
for any reason quinine is contra-indicated. Kaempfer 
visited Java in 1689, and in his account of Batavia is the 
first mention of an " opium-smoking divan," in which was 
smoked "opium diluted with water and mixed with tobacco" ; 
and as the Dutch controlled the trade of Formosa from 1624 
to 1662, it seems probable that the practice of smoking 
mixed tobacco and opium was introduced from Java. 
From Formosa the practice extended to the mainland 


through Amoy, the " metropolis " of the colonists. There 
is nothing to show when opium ceased to be mixed with 
tobacco for smoking. The only reference to the habit in 
Staunton's account of Lord Macartney's mission (1793) is 
that many of the higher Mandarins took opium, and that 
" they smoke tobacco mixed with other odorous substances, 
and sometimes a little opium." 

The Emperor Kang-hi, in his course of settling the 
Empire, came to the conquest of Formosa in 1683, with 
his base at Amoy. Here the governing powers were first 
brought into actual contact with the evil ; but in an age 
when edicts were readily issued, no immediate steps were 
taken. The first prohibitory edict was issued by his suc- 
cessor Yung-cheng, in 1729, enacting severe penalties on 
the sale of opium and the opening of opium-smoking divans, 
and from this time dealing in opium became a crime. 

Foreign Opium 

At the time of this edict the importation of foreign 
opium amounted to 200 chests a year, introduced by the 
Portuguese trading from Goa, and by none others until 
1773 ; English private merchants then engaged in the 
trade up to 1781, when the East India Company took it into 
its own hands. In the forty years up to 1767 the importa- 
tion increased gradually from 200 chests to 1,000, a chest 
containing from 135 lbs. (free-trade opium, as from Malwa 
or Persia) to 160 lbs. (Bengal regie opium). The machinery 
of an Imperial edict cannot have been directed against so 
insignificant a quantity as 200 chests, the annual amount 
at the date of the edict ; and that it was not considered by 
the Canton authorities to be directed against the foreign 
importation, is shown by the gradual and unconcealed 
increase at the rate of 20 chests a year. A distinction was 
recognised and made between opium for medicinal use, 
and its sale for smoking ; and its introduction for the 
former purpose was permitted. In the " Hoppo Book " * 

* " Journal China Branch of Royal Asiatic Society," 1882. 

OPIUM 329 

of 1753, which is based on tariffs of 1687 and 1733, then 
still in force, opium is included as paying Tls.3 a picul, 
which is at the rate of 6 per cent, (the then official rate 
of levy) on a value of Tls.50 ; and in a valuation book of 
the same date (1755), the values of certain commodities are 
given, among them silk at Tls.ioo, tea at Tls.8, rhubarb 
Tls.1/50, musk Tls.150, and opium Tls.50. The inference 
is that the Canton officials were quite honest in holding 
that the prohibitory edict of 1729 did not apply to the 
importation of the foreign drug. The trade went on without 
restriction on the importation, and in 1773 the English mer- 
chants made their first imports from Calcutta, with the 
probable effect of increasing the amount introduced. In 
1780 a new Viceroy was appointed to Canton, who had 
" the reputation of an upright, bold, and rigid minister," * 
and who determined to apply the Imperial restriction to 
the importation of the drug, as well as to its sale for 
smoking ; but the connection between this and the as- 
sumption of control of the opium traffic by the East India 
Company in the following year, is a matter of inference. 
The evils arising from the use of opium became more 
apparent from year to year, the import in 1790 having 
increased to 4,054 chests ; and in 1796, on the repre- 
sentation of the Viceroy, an Imperial edict was issued 
absolutely prohibiting all importation. In 1800 this 
prohibitory edict was issued anew. From this date the 
traffic became contraband, and about the same time 
smuggling became organised by detailed arrangements 
made between the importers and the officials at Canton 
and elsewhere along the coast. 

Drain of Specie 

In addition to the high moral ground taken by the 
Imperial Government in their desire to suppress the opium 
traffic, they rest their case upon their statement of the 
fact that the necessity of paying for the opium drained 
the country of silver, giving as an instance the " average 
* " British Parliamentary Papers," 1783. 


annual export of Tls. 10,000,000 in the ten years previous " 
to 1839 I an d this instance, and the drain of silver deducible 
from it, have been generally accepted in the histories. 
This drain of silver is not proved by facts. The sum is 
first to be discounted as being a fine-sounding round figure 
useful to support a prohibitory edict ; and, being in a 
Chinese official document, the statement must be inter- 
preted strictly, and not taken to imply more than it says. 
It may be true that in ten years shipments of treasure 
amounted to upwards of Tls. 10,000,000 annually, but it 
does not follow that, on balancing exports against imports, 
the net export was as much. Several foreign writers of the 
time refer to the permits specially required for the shipment 
of treasure, and there can be no doubt that any reported 
export of treasure was derived from the records of such 
permits without any offset or the introduction of alien 
matters. It was before the day of banks ; and while it is 
almost true that at that time each ship had to square with 
hard cash its accounts for imports and exports, it is abso- 
lutely true of each merchant, whether in a season he had 
one ship or several. India supplied the opium, but took 
no tea and no considerable quantity of silk, and shipment 
of treasure to India was inevitable. In the present day 
that country sends to China commodities to the average 
annual value of over Tls. 80,000,000, and receives in return 
commodities not exceeding Tls. 10,000,000 in value ; to-day 
the difference is adjusted by bank bills, but then the 
opium from India could not be paid for by tea shipped 
to England or America, but must be paid for in cash and 
the specie shipped, except in so far as it might be taken 
over by the East India Company against its bills on Calcutta, 
to provide funds with which to buy tea. Except for the 
opium of India and the spices of the Southern Isles, the 
rest of the world could provide little that China wanted. 
England could send a few pieces of camlet, probably not 
a hundredth of what was needed to buy a cargo of tea ; 
and from the English, American, Dutch, Portuguese, and 
other trade, poured in a stream of silver in the shape of 

OPIUM 331 

Spanish dollars,* which to this day are current in Anhwei, 
and were current in Formosa up to 1895, in which year 
two and a quarter millions of them were introduced into 
the island for the tea season. The movement of silver was 
inward, not outward ; and the explanation of the fact that 
merchants of the highest repute brought themselves to 
engage in a trade which we have come to regard as dis- 
reputable, is to be found in the imperative commercial 
necessity of lessening the constant flow of silver in one 
direction, and of substituting for it any commodity which 
the Chinese would consent to buy. 

Opium Contraband 

Opium was the one thing the Chinese would consent 
to buy, and buy it they did and continued to do, after the 
prohibitory edicts of 1796 and 1800, as they had before ; 
and arrangements were made with businesslike method for 
circumventing the prohibition, allowing the buyers to get 
the drug they wanted, and securing what they considered 
their proper dues to the rulers of the land whose duty it 
was to see that the edicts were enforced. The edicts never 
were enforced ; for forty years there was no pretence at 
enforcing them in the spirit, and the restrictions of their 
letter had only the effect of covering the traffic with a veil 
of decency such that the importing merchants might engage 
in it, the officials might not have it thrust under their eyes, 
and the dealers might get their supplies with more trouble 
and at considerably more cost. The irregular dues levied 
over and above the official tariff were already heavy, but 
when it became necessary to pay for connivance in addition 
to the payments demanded for complaisance, they became 
heavier ; and they were distributed between the officials, 
; Hoppo, Viceroy, Governor, Treasurer, and so on down the 
I list, not as bribes in one payment to secure that eyes should 
be judiciously shut, but as dues levied on each chest divided 
in proper proportion to each official. As the trade was 
prohibited the dues received could not be included in the 
* See page 283. 


regular reports of revenue collected, and the regular New 
Year's gratifications sent in accordance with custom to the 
Ministers of State and the officials of the Court at Peking — 
heavier because of the greater amount of lucrum attaching 
to the provincial posts — had no peculiar odor attaching to 
them to betray their origin ; it was therefore to the interest 
of all officials concerned, below the Emperor and except 
an occasional honest statesman, that the prohibition should 
be enacted and that the traffic should go on. The Emperor 
might prohibit the trade, but the Emperor's representatives 
continued to sanction it. 

On the issue of the prohibitory edicts it became im- 
possible to continue the open storage of stocks in the factories 
at Canton, and the depots were established at Macao, 
which, it must be remembered, was under Chinese fiscal 
control until 1848 ; quantities were, however, still brought 
on in the importing ships and kept on board at the anchorage 
at Whampoa until they could be delivered to purchasers. 
This went on until 1820, when the order went out that 
no opium was to be stored in Macao or at Whampoa ; the 
importers then established store ships at Lintin Island, 
in the estuary of the Canton River. Up to this date the 
import had not in any year exceeded 5,000 chests. 

When the edict of 1800 was issued, the East India 
Company ceased to carry opium on its own account. From 
that time it was officially responsible for the production of 
that portion of the drug which came from Bengal and for 
its sale in Calcutta, but had no direct concern with its 
transportation and sale in China, nor did it ever have any 
connection with opium from Malwa or from Persia. 

During the Lintin period, opium (then regularly called 
" tea," and still ordinarily so termed at Canton) was sold 
by sample, and paid for invariably in hard cash against 
a delivery order. The importer had nothing else to do 
with sales for local delivery. The purchaser having arranged 
for the necessary protection from official interference, took 
his order to the receiving ship at Lintin, where he repacked 
into mat-bags, marked with his private chop, and took it 

OPIUM 333 

away in fast boats with crews of sixty to seventy men. 
The trade would be temporarily interrupted on the arrival 
of each new official of high rank, until he had settled into 
his place ; and occasionally there would be a brutum fulmen 
of a proclamation ordering vessels " loitering at the outer 
anchorage" either to come into port or to sail away ; but 
never was Lint in mentioned by name, and never was a 
guard-boat so unmannerly as to poke its nose into the 
anchorage, though doubtless there were many watchful 
eyes round about. 

Opium for the eastern part of Kwangtung was ordinarily 
sold at Canton, also always for cash, to be delivered by 
the seller ordinarily at Namoa, an island near Swatow, the 
station of the Commander-in-chief of the provincial coast 
forces. Hunter * describes a visit he made in 1837 in an 
American clipper schooner of 150 tons regularly despatched 
by his firm from Lintin to deliver their sales. On arrival 
at Namoa he found there two English brigs belonging to 
two English firms, engaged in the same traffic, and lying 
near them the " Admiral's flagship." The Admiral called 
on board all concerned and went through some solemn 
foolery, the object of which was to secure supplies for the 
schooner, on its way from Singapore to Canton, driven into 
Namoa in distress ; afterwards, at a more private interview 
opened by the direct question " How many chests have 
you ? " a bargain was struck, and non-interference provided 
for, on terms additional to those which were arranged by 
the purchasers at Canton. After this the opium, which 
had been packed in bags at Lintin, was delivered to junks 
flying a private signal, without further formality. The 
jurisdiction of the Canton Hoppo and Viceroy ended at 
Namoa, and farther up the coast the sweet simplicity of 
the Canton procedure could not be carried out in such 
perfect detail. The vessel in which Hunter returned came 
into Namoa from the north, and " her entire freight to 
Canton consisted of $430,000 in value of gold bars and 

* "Old Canton." 


This contraband traffic went on uninterruptedly until the 
end of 1838. In 1830 the annual import had increased to 
16,877 chests, and in 1838 to 20,610 chests. The appoint- 
ment of Lord Napier in 1834 as Ambassador of His Britannic 
Majesty, brought to the fore a different aspect of China's 
foreign relations, the right of foreign envoys to treat directly 
with the representatives of the Empire, and, connected with 
it, the position of monopoly inherent in the Co-Hong, with 
which alone envoy and merchant were to have any dealings ; 
but opium was no more in question from 1834 to 1838, during 
the time of Lord Napier and Captain Elliot, than it had 
been before. At Peking, however, there was renewed dis- 
cussion of the evils arising from opium smoking, and of 
the still greater demoralisation from smuggling an article 
declared contraband by law ; and there Vas even serious 
consideration of a proposal to legalise the traffic in order 
to bring the evil under better control. The proposal was 
negatived, and the Emperor decided to enforce the edict 
issued by his father in 1800, and found a willing agent for 
the purpose in Lin Tze-sii. In this decision the Emperor 
may have been mistaken, he may have attempted to sweep 
back the tides of the ocean with a broom, but he was un- 
doubtedly honest and intended that his will should be 
carried out. Lin was appointed Imperial Commissioner, 
and sent to Canton to carry out the will of his master, 
superseding ad hoc both Viceroy and Hoppo. Had it been 
only a question of opium, his mission was hopeless ; it was 
as if a Prohibition Government at Washington had sent Neil 
Dow to carry out a Maine Liquor Law in the state of Ken- 
tucky. But both he and his master had misjudged the 
situation ; when they said " opium," the English envoy, 
backed by the English admiral, answered " equality," and 
equality it was, and not opium, which was settled by the 
treaty of Nanking. This treaty decided the equal status of 
officials of the two powers, the abolition of the monopoly of 
the Co-Hong, and the adoption of uniform dues and duties ; 
but it left the Chinese Government free to adopt its own 
measures for the regulation of the opium traffic. The Eng- 

OPIUM 335 

iish Government did not undertake to perform preventive 
service for China, since others than English were already 
engaged in the trade, and others still could easily have taken 
it up ; but it forbade the establishment of an opium depot 
at the outset in Hongkong, and it afforded no naval pro- 
tection to smugglers. 

Commissioner Lin arrived in Canton on March 10, 1839, 
and, after remaining inscrutable for some days, on the 18th 
issued a proclamation that the foreigners should deliver up 
all the opium in store and give a bond to import no more, 
on penalty of death. When they refused, they were shut 
up in the factories, deprived of servants and of outside 
supplies of food and water, and informed that they were 
hostages for the due execution of the order. " Hostage " 
is an awkward word to use, and a still more awkward thing 
to be ; and in fear of death the merchants surrendered their 
opium, even bringing eight chests up from Macao. The total 
quantity surrendered was 20,291 chests, and the earnest- 
ness of conviction of the Emperor and his Commissioner is 
evidenced by the fact that this was effectually destroyed 
to the last ounce. Of the firms contributing the opium, 
the largest contributor was an English firm with 7,000 chests, 
then another English firm, then an American firm with 
1,500 chests ; after them came English, Parsee, and other 
merchants, natives of India. Some fifty chests of Turkey 
opium in the possession of an American firm were not 
surrendered as not being from India. The only effect of 
the Imperial Commissioner's action, directed against the 
foreigner and not against his own countrymen, was to 
check the local trade for a time, but it did not do away 
with it ; the demand remained, new supplies came forward, 
and the trade went on. 

The loss of prestige by the Imperial Government not only 
inspired the smugglers with greater activity and less fear 
of the consequences, but caused the officials along the coast 
to throw off such modest feelings of restraint as they may 
have felt before. Then, in the decade 1850-60, the spread 
of the Taiping rebellion over whole provinces, involving 


millions of people, caused vast misery, which drove many to 
the Chinese equivalent of " drink," filled the pockets of 
myriads with plunder to be spent in indulgence, and brought 
into the field on both sides armed forces whose chief occupa- 
tion, then as now, was opium smoking. The result of this 
laxity and this increase in the demand was a perfect car- 
nival of smuggling. Prior to Lin's mission the trade, 
though not legalised, was fully regulated, and it is a misuse 
of terms to apply the word " smuggling " to what went on 
then ; the foreign merchant imported his opium without 
concealment, but, during the last twenty years of the period, 
instead of bringing it to his factory at Canton and storing 
it there or at Macao, he deposited it on store-ships at Lintin ; 
he sold it, generally speaking, and obtained payment at 
Canton, all subsequent proceedings being the concern of the 
purchasers, Chinese subjects ; and he delivered it on board 
his own ship, usually at Lintin, to a certain extent at definite 
points on the coast to the east and north, but always under 
official oversight. To a limited extent the sales were not 
effected at Canton, but at the points of delivery on the 
coast. After Lin's mission the trade was neither legalised 
nor regulated ; even such restraint as might come from 
publicity was absent, since the British authorities refused 
to permit the establishment of a depot in Hongkong. The 
result was to drive the importers into closer relations with 
the officials, who were in a position to impede the traffic at 
all places along the coast ; to what extent they, and to 
what extent the purchasers, made the actual arrangements, 
who was the active agent in perverting from their duty 
the only too willing representatives of the humiliated 
Emperor, is not known, because the whole traffic during 
this period is covered by a veil of secrecy and mystery. 
From this driving of the traffic away from the light of day, 
from the increased activity of the importers in supplying 
an increased demand, from the greater enterprise of the 
smugglers, whether they were foreign or Chinese, and from 
tiie greater laxity and depravity of the officials of China — 
from all these causes came two consequences : from the 

OPIUM 337 

20,619 chests of 1838 the import of opium increased to 
about 50,000 chests in 1850, and to 85,000 chests in i860 ; 
and, as opium smoking had debauched the Chinese, the 
opium traffic debauched the foreign traders and dragged 
them down from their high estate. 

It will be well to repeat, in a brief summary, the salient 
facts relating to opium. The poppy has been known in 
China for at least twelve centuries, its medicinal use for 
nine centuries, and that the medicinal properties lay in the 
capsule for six centuries. Opium has been made in China 
for four centuries. Tobacco smoking was introduced through 
the Spanish at the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
and the smoking of opium mixed with the tobacco through 
the Dutch in the middle of the seventeenth century ; there 
is no historical record to show when opium was first smoked 
by itself, but it appears to have nearly coincided with the 
prohibition of all opium importation in 1800. Foreign 
opium was first imported by the Portuguese at the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century, and was first handled 
by the English in 1773 ; from 1781 to 1800 it was mainly 
in the hands of the East India Company. After that the 
principal importers were English, though there is nothing 
to show that traders of any nationality, who could lay hands 
on the drug, refused to deal in it ; it is on record that in 
1839, on the occasion of the famous surrender, one-thirteenth 
of all the opium surrendered was given up by an American 
firm, and smaller quantities came from Parsees, who, though 
under British protection, would readily have transferred 
their protectorate to others, had there been sufficient motive. 
For the pandemonium of the period 1840 to i860 the Chinese 
must be held primarily responsible ; the Emperor and his 
Commissioner Lin attempted the impossible in applying to 
foreign nations alone the restrictions which they could not 
enforce on their own subjects, so removing all regulation 
from a trade which they would not consent to legalise ; 
and his representatives, the whole length of the coast, acted 
in every respect, except as to turning their receipts into 
the treasury, as if the trade had been legalised. The dis- 



turbed state of the country from 1850 to i860 weakened 
the authority of the Government, and gave the officials an 
excuse and an opportunity for their laxity which they did 
not need, but it could not transfer the responsibility from 
the Imperial Government to the shoulders of foreign nations. 

Opium Trade Legalised 

The treaties made in 1858 as the result of the second war 
left the opium question still unsettled. The treaty of 
Nanking of 1842 was silent on the subject, leaving China to 
enact and enforce her own sumptuary and prohibitive laws, 
and to adopt her own preventive measures. The same 
silence was observed in the four treaties of Tientsin of 1858, 
in the British and French treaties imposed on China as the 
result of the war, and in the identical and simultaneous 
American and Russian treaties which must be considered 
to be also the direct result of that war. But (to quote the 
premier treaty) Article XXVI. of the British treaty pro- 
vided for the appointment of a commission to revise the 
Customs tariff ; and when, in November 1858, the com- 
mission agreed on the tariff, opium was quietly inserted in 
it at a duty of Tls.30 per picul. Opium was included with 
the full consent of the Chinese negotiators ; of this there is 
no doubt, for we have the testimony of Sir Thomas Wade 
and Mr. Laurence Oliphant, who were the representatives 
of the British Envoy on the Commission. That so burning 
a question as the opium trade should not be mentioned in 
those unofficial colloquies which accompany all negotiations 
was impossible ; and that the wisdom of legalisation cum 
regulation was fully explained to the Chinese negotiators 
as a measure of political economy is made known to us by 
Oliphant. The first suggestion that the matter should be 
taken into consideration was made by the American Minister, 
Mr. William B. Reed, who came out to China with a strong 
bias against the opium trade, and with instructions from 
his Government conceived in the same spirit, but who never- 
theless became an advocate of the legalisation of the trade, 

OPIUM 339 

from witnessing the abuses to which its contraband char- 
acter gave rise.* With this changed view he wrote to Lord 
Elgin as follows : — 

" I have more than once understood your Excel- 
lency to say that you had a strong, if not invincible, 
repugnance, involved as Great Britain already was in 
hostilities at Canton, and having been compelled in 
the north to resort to the influence of threatened 
coercion, to introduce the subject of opium to the con- 
sideration of the Chinese authorities. Yet I am con- 
fident, unless the initiative is taken by your Excellency, 
things must continue as they are, with all their shame ; 
and I appeal to your Excellency's high sense of duty, 
so often and so strongly expressed to this helpless 
though perverse people, whether we, the representa- 
tives of Western and Christian nations, ought to 
consider our work done without some attempt to 
induce or compel an adjustment of the pernicious 
difficulty. In such an attempt I shall cordially 
After alluding to the possibility of putting a stop to 
the growth of opium in India, Mr. Reed goes on to say : 

" Of effective prohibition, and this mainly through 
the inveterate appetite of the Chinese, I am not 
sanguine ; and I therefore more confidently, though 
not more earnestly, call your Excellency's atten- 
tion to the only other course open to us — attempt to 
persuade the Chinese to put such high duties on the 
drug as will restrain the supply, regulate the import, 
and yet not stimulate some other form of smuggling, 
with or without the connivance of the Chinese. The 
economical arguments in favour of this course are so 
fully stated in the accompanying paper that I need 
not allude to them further." 
It was therefore decided that the matter should be 
brought to the notice of the Chinese Commissioners, who, 

* " Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan," 
i860, Vol. II., chap. xiii. 


however, required no long persuasion ; they were fully 

awake to the evils of what had become unrestricted trade 

in the drug, and their Government needed the revenue which 

had for so long a time gone into the pockets of its servants. 

After approval by the French and American envoys, the 

tariff was agreed to, including opium. At the same time 

it was recognised that opium was eminently an article of 

import which must be left to the unfettered discretion of 

the Chinese Government to deal with ; and the fifth of the 

Rules of Trade appended to the tariff reads as follows : — 

" The restrictions affecting trade in Opium, Cash, 

Grain, Pulse, Sulphur, Brimstone, Saltpetre, and 

Spelter, are relaxed, under the following conditions : 

" I. Opium will henceforth pay thirty taels per picul 

Import Duty. The importer will sell it only at the 

port. It will be carried into the interior by Chinese 

only, and only as Chinese property ; the Foreign 

trader will not be allowed to accompany it. The 

provisions of Article IX. of the Treaty of Tientsin, by 

which British subjects are authorised to proceed into 

the interior with Passports to trade, will not extend 

to it, nor will those of Article XXVIII. of the same 

Treaty, by which the Transit Dues are regulated. 

The Transit Dues on it will be arranged as the Chinese 

Government see fit ; nor in future revisions of the 

Tariff is the same rule of revision to be applied to 

Opium as to other goods." 

The next step in the history of opium is found in the 

Chefoo Convention of 1876, by which the British Government 

accepted in principle a proposal that inland taxation (likin) 

on the drug should be collected simultaneously with the 

import duty, i.e. by the Imperial and not by the provincial 

authorities. This was made effective by an Additional 

Article signed on July 18, 1885, by which the amount of 

likin was settled at Tls.8o per picul, making, with the 

import duty, a total of per picul which the Chinese 

Government is entitled to collect ; and the establishment 

in 1887 of the Kowloon and Lappa Customs, to control the 

OPIUM 341 

junk traffic with Hongkong and Macao, operated further 
to the benefit of the Imperial exchequer by the restraint 
thereby imposed on smuggling. 

The only restriction imposed by China on the opium 
trade and accepted by a foreign power, is contained in the 
Supplemental Treaty of 1880 between the United States 
and China, of which Article II. is as follows : — 

" The Governments of China and of the United 
States mutually agree and undertake that Chinese sub- 
jects shall not be permitted to import opium into any 
of the ports of the United States ; and citizens of the 
United States shall not be permitted to import opium 
into any of the open ports of China, to transport it 
from one open port to any other open port, or to buy 
and sell opium in any of the open ports of China. This 
absolute prohibition, which extends to vessels owned 
by the citizens or subjects of either Power, to foreign 
vessels employed by them, or to vessels owned by 
the citizens or subjects of either Power, and employed 
by other persons for the transportation of opium, 
shall be enforced by appropriate legislation on the 
part of China and the United States ; and the benefits 
of the favored nation clause in existing Treaties 
shall not be claimed by the citizens or subjects of 
either Power as against the provisions of this 
The only commentary on this agreement is found in 
the fact that when, in 1884-5, temporarily and for reasons 
over which the American Government had little or no 
control, the American flag reappeared on the coast and 
engaged in the carrying trade, no attempt was made to 
enforce the restriction. 

The course of the trade in foreign opium since the 
legalisation is shown in the following table. In 1863 
Tientsin and Chefoo had been opened in the north, and 
Hankow, Kiukiang and Chinkiang on the Yangtze. In 
1879 * ne recorded import, 82,927 piculs, reached its maxi- 
mum. The opening of the Kowloon and Lappa Customs 



in 1887 may be assumed to have reduced smuggling in junk 
by between 10,000 and 15,000 piculs. 

1863. 1867. 
































Hunan ) 
Hupeh ) 






f 240 
\ 322 








Anhwei ) 
Kiangsu ) 



f 3,i4i 

3,400 1,557 
22,182 ! 17,676 






















Kwangsi > 
Kwangtung j 






( 22 
( 18,587 

Other channels * 







Total j 













The following table shows the proportion of each kind 
of foreign opium imported during the past forty years, 
viz. Bengal (Patna and Benares), the production of the 
Opium Regie of the Government of India ; Malwa, the 
free trade product of the states of Central India, feudatory 
to the British Government but otherwise self-governing ; 
and Persian (formerly also called Turkey), the product of 
Persia. In comparing the figures it must, however, be 
borne in mind that the province of Kwangtung ordinarily 
prefers Bengal opium to the extent of fully three-fourths 

* Other channels, i.e. by junk, either legitimately, but not 
reporting to the Imperial Maritime Customs, or smuggled. In 
1905 a quantity unreported was introduced through Kwangchow- 
wan, estimated not to exceed 2,000 piculs. Of the official import 
into Kwangtung, the Canton delta ports in 1905 took 13,207 
piculs, 8,150 piculs in 1897, and 17,776 piculs in 1888 ; before 
the opening of the Kowloon and Lappa Customs, in 1879 they 
took only 1,194 piculs, in 1867 only 2,111 piculs, and in 1863 
only 3,469 piculs officially reported. 



of the foreign drug consumed, and that prior to 1887 much 
of the supply for that province passed through channels 
which did not lead to its inclusion in the figures given 









1863 . 










1873 . 





1879 . 





1883 . 










1893 . 





1897 . 















av^IML ;: 



2 16 






Native Opium 

Opium was produced in China before the vice of smoking 
was introduced, and, in China as elsewhere, was valued for 
its medicinal properties. There is no evidence to show 
that, otherwise than medicinally, the Chinese ever took 
opium in the shape of pills, as was for centuries the practice 
in Central and Western Asia ; and the evidence is all against 
the supposition that the Chinese smoked the drug because 
they already produced it. Smoking came in independently, 
and fed on foreign or native supplies indifferently, as evi- 
denced by the fact that, at the date of the first Imperial 
prohibition of the evil in 1729, the importation of foreign 
opium was only 200 chests a year, and forty years later did 
not exceed 1,000 chests. But, while it cannot be said that 
an already existing production of native opium created the 
evil of smoking, neither is it wholly true that the evil was 

* Formosa, the chief consumer of Persian opium, passed under 
the Japanese flag in 1895. 


created by the introduction of foreign opium. The vice 
came because opium existed in the world ; had there been 
no native production, the foreign drug would have supplied 
its food ; had there been no foreign importation, the native 
supply would have sufficed, or would have become sufficient, 
for all requirements, even to satisfy the demands of a craving 
which has extended to every corner and to all classes in 
the Empire. It would therefore be a task leading to no 
useful result, to search for statistics to determine if the 
native production exceeded the foreign importation in 
1729 — we know it did ; or if it exceeded the foreign supply 
of 1800 — it very probably, almost certainly, did. Coming 
down to the nineteenth century, during its fourth decade, 
when the great question — to legalise the foreign trade or 
stamp it out — was under consideration, the native pro- 
duction was referred to in several memorials presented 
to the Throne. In 1830 it was stated that " the poppy is 
cultivated over one-half of Chekiang," a rhetorical exaggera- 
tion. In 1836 a memorial of Hu Nai-tsi proposed to legalise 
the traffic on various economic grounds, and, incidentally, 
because of the already great native production. This was 
opposed in a memorial of Chu Tsun, who was convinced of 
the evils of smoking, and based his objections largely on 
the amount of the home production, instancing that in his 
native province of Yunnan the annual production was many 
thousand piculs. The habit of smoking opium had been 
known in China for at least a century and a half, and it is 
probable that it had extended to the inland provinces ; 
while it is improbable that the 15,000 to 20,000 chests, 
which constituted the foreign supply, penetrated far from 
the coast, and it is not probable that they supplied much 
more than the provinces of Kwangtung, Fukien (including 
Formosa), and possibly Chekiang ; it seems probable that 
the foreign drug reached along the coast beyond the mouth 
of the Yangtze^only after 1840. This is supposition, which 
is alien to the purpose of this chapter ; but it finds some 
support in the fact * that at Hankow, prior to the opening 
* " Native Opium," 1863. Shanghai, 1864. 

OPIUM 345 

of the port in 1861, foreign opium was practically unknown, 
a few piculs only being introduced to satisfy Cantonese 
palates ; that prior to 1859 Hankow was supplied with 
opium from Shansi, but that these supplies were cut off by 
disturbances in that province, and in i860 Hankow drew 
its supplies, to the extent of 2,000 piculs, from Szechwan 
and Hunan. 

Statistics are unknown in China, the only statistics 
obtainable being those of the trade carried on under the 
cognisance of the Inspectorate General of Customs. Statis- 
tics relating to opium are especially unobtainable, since a 
commodity having so high a value in small bulk, and so 
heavily taxed, does not in general follow the ordinary trade 
routes, on which taxing stations are numerous, but is 
carried by armed bands over unfrequented mountain roads, 
on which the taxing stations are few and so poorly equipped 
as to yield readily to superior force, and accept a com- 
position for taxes much lower than the official rate. All 
this leads to concealment on both sides, and, in estimating 
the present production of opium in China, inquirers have 
been driven to base their investigations on the observations 
of travellers and the opinions of people interested to discover 
the truth. The results of the investigations of many 
inquirers are given below for each province, divided into 
Coast Provinces, in which the original demand was chiefly 
met by supplies of foreign drug (the northern only since 
i860) ; Yangtze Provinces, accessible to the foreign drug 
only since i860 ; and Inland Provinces, which have never, 
to any known extent, been supplied with foreign opium. 

Coast Provinces 

Kwangtung produces little opium. At Canton in 1863 
it was estimated that 1,500 piculs of native opium found 
a market, of which 800 came from Yunnan, 400 from 
Kweichow, 200 from Szechwan, and 100 were the product 
of Kwangtung, coming from the mountains of the northern 
part. There has been no great increase of poppy cultivation, 


and the production of opium in the province to-day probably 
does not exceed 500 piculs. 

Fukien : opium is produced chiefly in the Tungan dis- 
trict, of which the output was estimated in 1863 at 500 
piculs, and in 1879 at 1,000 piculs. The lowest estimate 
for the whole province to-day is 2,000 piculs. 

Chekiang produces a considerable quantity, especially 
in the Wenchow and Chuchow prefectures, the production 
being estimated at 10,000 to 16,000 piculs in 1879, and at 
4,500 piculs in 1887. It will be safe to put the output 
to-day at 5,000 piculs. 

Kiangsu, in 1879, was estimated to produce 2,500 piculs 
of opium. There has recently been increased production 
in the Hsuchow prefecture in the north-western corner of 
the province, and the output of Kiangsu to-day cannot be 
less than 5,000 piculs. 

Shantung imported 3,536 piculs of foreign opium in 1879 ; 
in 1888 this had fallen to 318 piculs, which is now the average 
amount. In 1887 it was estimated that the annual con- 
sumption of native opium was 8,000 piculs, mostly Shantung 
product. The production of the province to-day must be 
at least 10,000 piculs. 

Chihli imported 7,898 piculs of foreign opium in 1867, 
and 5,181 piculs in 1879 ; in 1905 this fell to 225 piculs. 
Native opium was reported as coming from Shansi in 1863 
in considerable quantities ; in 1879 the production of 
Chihli was estimated at 3,000 piculs, and in 1887 it was 
reported to be " very large." Within forty years 7,500 
piculs of foreign opium have been entirely displaced by native 
opium, and, allowing for increase in the population and 
extension of the habit, the consumption of the latter is now 
from 15,000 to 20,000 piculs. Some comes from Manchuria 
and some from Shansi, and the production of Chihli is 
probably 10,000, and certainly 5,000 piculs. 

Manchuria has probably taken up the production of 
opium within fifty years past. Foreign opium was imported 
to the extent of 2,585 piculs in 1867, and 2,453 piculs in 
1879 ; in 1888 the import was 113 piculs, and in 1905 was 

OPIUM 347 

only 25 piculs. Native opium in 1863 came chiefly from 
Shansi, and it is on record that in that year 200 piculs 
were introduced into the city of Moukden. In 1879 the 
production of Manchuria was estimated at 3,000 piculs, 
and in 1887 at 8,000 piculs, and the quality was reported 
to be equal if not superior to that of foreign opium. The 
population has been greatly increased by immigration in 
the past thirty years, and, apart from the temporary effects 
of war, the output to-day may be estimated at 15,000 

For the Coast Provinces the annual production, estimated 
on a conservative basis, is 42,500 piculs. 

Yangtze Provinces 

Hunan opium was known at Hankow in 1863 and 
before, and in 1879 the production was estimated at 1,000 
piculs. Hunanese have filled the armies of China for fifty 
years, and returned soldiers have brought back the habit 
of heavy smoking. But little foreign opium is imported 
(240 piculs in 1905), and the production of opium in Hunan 
to-day is probably at least 3,000 piculs. 

Hupeh consumed no foreign opium prior to 1861, and 
imported 4,242 piculs in 1867, and (including Hunan) 562 
piculs in 1905. Native opium is, and has always been, 
introduced from other provinces, but there has also been 
a home production, estimated in 1879 at 2,000 to 3,000 
piculs, and in 1887 at 3,000 : the output to-day is probably 
4,000 piculs. 

Kiangsi maintains its consumption of foreign opium 
of forty and thirty years ago. In 1863 the local production 
was estimated at 200 piculs ; there has been no great 
increase in poppy growing, and to-day the output probably 
does not exceed 500 piculs. 

Anhwei imports to-day of foreign opium but half the 
import of 1879 and 1888. In 1887 the local production 
was estimated at 2,000 piculs, and to-day it is probably 
over 3,000 piculs. 


For the Yangtze Provinces, accessible since 1861 by 
steamer, the annual production may be put at 10,500 piculs. 

Inland Provinces 

Honan opium was known at Shanghai in 1863 ; in 1879 
the production was estimated at 3,500 to 5,000 piculs, and 
in 1887 at 5,000 piculs : the output to-day is probably 
fully 5,000 piculs. 

Shansi formerly supplied a large area with opium, 
from Hankow in the west and Shanghai in the east to 
Manchuria in the north. In 1879 the production was 
estimated at 4,000 piculs, and it will be safe to put it to-day 
at 5,000 piculs. 

Shensi, as we know, cultivated the poppy in the eighth 
century ; and, as the practice of scoring the capsule to 
obtain opium was introduced through the adjoining province, 
Kansu, it may be assumed that Shensi was one of the first 
provinces to produce opium, and stood ready to supply 
the demand when it arose. In 1872 Baron von Richthofen 
records that " in some portions of the country it (the 
poppy) formed the most conspicuous winter crop." In 
1879 it was estimated at Hankow, to which some part of 
the product was sent, that the annual output was 5,000 
piculs ; and it would not be safe to put the output to-day 
at less than 10,000 piculs. 

Kansu, according to Richthofen, " does not consume 
all the opium it produces, but exports considerable quantities 
both east and west, and imports none." With a population, 
largely Mohammedan, estimated at the lowest at 8,000,000, 
the production of opium must be over 5,000 piculs. 

Szechwan must have early acquired the art of opium 
manufacture, bounded as it is to the north by Kansu and 
to the south by Yunnan, both centres of Mohammedan 
influence from early times to the present day ; and, when 
the practice of smoking the drug was introduced, it must 
have spread at once to the inhabitants of this mist-covered 
province, steamy in summer and chilly in winter. The 
universal testimony of travellers is that the people are, 

OPIUM 349 

in general, heavy smokers, the consumption per capita 
being confidently stated to be three times that of the coast 
provinces. No foreign opium has ever been imported, and 
the poppy, cultivated certainly as early as the ninth century, 
is to-day grown everywhere ; Mr. E. C. Baber (1878) 
says : " We were astounded at the extent of the poppy 
cultivation in Szechwan and Yunnan." Baron von 
Richthofen (1872) expresses the same astonishment, and 
estimates the production of opium at a minimum of 60,000 
piculs and a probable output of 100,000 piculs. In 1904 
the quantity passing by the river route to the east through 
Ichang was 36,856 piculs, and in 1905 it was 36,311 piculs. 
Of this quantity 11,011 piculs were imported and 11,025 
piculs re-exported by steamer at Hankow in 1904, and 
2,736 piculs imported and 2,492 piculs re-exported in 1905, 
the remainder of the Ichang transit going in the same way 
by junk ; this furnishes an apt illustration of the well-known 
fact that opium in China comes into the light of day only 
when there is some obvious fiscal advantage to gain. In 
addition to the river route there are three main land routes, 
besides many unfrequented mountain roads, by which opium 
is carried to the east ; and the total export from the province 
eastward must be well over 50,000 piculs, and is possibly 
upwards of 100,000 piculs. The recognised authority for 
Szechwan to-day is Mr. A. Hosie. In his consular report 
for 1903 (presented to both Houses of Parliament, October 
1904, Cd. 2247), he records the fact that " in the provincial 
capital, Chengtu, there is one opium-smoking saloon to 
every 67 of a population of 500,000 ; these saloons are open 
to men only, and women have to smoke in their own homes." 
As the result of a careful detailed calculation he states that 
the consumption of Szechwan-grown opium by the in- 
habitants of Szechwan is 182,500 piculs. If to this be added 
the probable export eastward from the province, we have 
a probable production of not less than 250,000 piculs. 

Yunnan has long produced opium, the production in 
1836 being stated to be " many thousand piculs." Baber 
(1878) says : " We were astounded at the extent of the 


poppy cultivation in Szechwan and Yunnan. . . . With 
a consciousness that I am underestimating, I estimate 
that the poppy fields constitute a third of the whole culti- 
vation of Yunnan." The province has to-day but two 
articles of importance with which to pay for extra-provincial 
products consumed — viz. opium and tin. The latter comes 
from one spot twenty miles from Mengtsz, and the value 
of the output in 1904 was Tls.3, 200,000. Opium comes 
from all parts of the province and goes in all directions, 
that portion shipped for the use of the Opium Regie in 
Tonkin in 1904 amounting to 2,958 piculs, the quantity 
going by land into China being very much greater. Yunnan 
opium was known at Canton and at Chinkiang in 1863 ; 
in 1879 the production was variously estimated from 12,000 
to 22,000 piculs ; in 1887 it was estimated at 27,000 piculs. 
A low estimate of the production to-day is 30,000 piculs. 

Kweichow opium was known at Canton in 1863. In 
1879 the estimates range from 10,000 to 15,500 piculs ; 
in 1887 one authority estimates it at 9,000 piculs, and 
another states " total production nearly as muchas Yunnan." 
A safe estimate of the production to-day must be fully 
15,000 piculs. 

Kwangsi imports practically no foreign opium (22 piculs 
entered at Wuchow in 1905), and is a thoroughfare for 
Szechwan, Yunnan, and Kweichow opium for its own con- 
sumption, and in transit to Kwangtung. The poppy is also 
cultivated in the province, but to what extent is little 
known. The production of opium was estimated in 1879 
at 3,000 piculs, and may be put at the same figure to-day. 

For the Inland Provinces, not accessible at any time, 
except Honan, to the invasion of foreign opium, the annual 
production may be put at 323,000 piculs, making for the 
whole of China a total of 376,000 piculs. 

It cannot be asserted that this figure is measurably 
exact ; but it may be safely asserted that the production 
of opium in China to-day is, at the lowest, six-fold, and 
is more probably eight-fold, the quantity of the present 
import of foreign opium. 



For one vice, both for its introduction and its main- 
tenance, foreigners must be held responsible. How or 
when the practice of injecting morphia was first introduced, 
except in hospitals, is not known ; it has been suggested 
that it arose from the well-meant administration of anti- 
opium pills containing the alkaloid, intended to satisfy the 
craving without the knowledge of the druggard that opium 
was administered in any form. However or whenever 
first started, hypodermic injections have taken hold, and 
the attention of the Chinese Government has been drawn 
to the necessity of checking the evil. The first record of 
importation is in 1892 : since that date the quantities im- 
ported have been as follows : — 

Ounces. Ounces. 

1892 . . 15,761 1898 . . 92,159 

1893 .. 27,993 1899 .. 154705 

1894 . . 43,414 1900 . . 114,768 

1895 .. 64,043 1901 .. 138,567 

1896 .. 67,320 1902 .. 195,133 

1897 . . 81,716 

Up to April 1903 duty had been levied on import at the 
rate of 5 per cent, ad valorem, representing a tax of about 
Tls.o*o8 per ounce ; then a prohibitory tax of Tls.3*oo 
per ounce, about 200 per cent, ad valorem, was imposed, 
and the imports declared to the Customs fell off as follows : — 


1903 106,148 

1904 128 

1905 54 

An ounce of morphia will give from one to two thousand 
injections, according as they are for the requirements of 
druggards or the ordinary dose. The falling off in the last 
two years given above is explained, not by a diminished 
demand, but by smuggling. 

The latest endeavor (November 1906) of the Chinese 
Government to extirpate the opium evil is given in Ap- 
pendix F. 



The foundations of the " Foreign " Customs were laid in 
the necessities of the Chinese Government, and not in any 
demand by the foreign merchants that an improved revenue 
service should be provided for them. The forces of the 
Taiping rebellion, marching from Kwangsi in 1852, worked 
their way north through Hunan and thence down the valley 
of the Yangtze, destoying the fabric of Imperial Govern- 
ment in all the provinces through which their devastating 
course was marked ; twelve months later they entered 
Kiangsu from the west, and in September, 1853, the Chinese 
city of Shanghai was captured. The limit of their advance 
was the moat of the city, the foreign settlements, imme- 
diately adjoining, being defended by the foreign naval 
forces ; and to this haven of refuge the Chinese officials 
all fled. The Custom House was thus closed by force 
majeure ; and for a time there was no authority to collect 
the revenue from the important foreign trade of Shanghai. 
The merchants, then chiefly English and American, inherited 
the honorable traditions of the old factory days of Canton, 
and had no desire to evade the payment of their dues, 
which had been placed upon a just and moderate basis by 
the treaties of 1842 and later years ; and the Consuls, newly 
armed with extraterritorial jurisdiction, conceived it to be 
as much their duty to control as to protect their nationals, 
control being rendered the more easy by the fact that only 
three powers were involved. The first step taken to tide 
over the moratorium was an arrangement by which the 
foreign merchants declared to their Consuls the nature of 













the merchandise imported and exported, and deposited 
at the Consulates bonds for the duty leviable thereon, which, 
be it noted, was on a moderate 5 per cent, basis. This 
was found, for many reasons, to be irksome to the Consuls ; 
and, with the approval of the British, American, and French 
Ministers, then at Shanghai, an agreement was made on 
June 29, 1854, between the Shanghai Taotai, Wu Kien- 
chang, who was a refugee in the English concession, and 
the three Consuls, the British, (Sir) Rutherford Alcock, the 
American, R. C. Murphy, and the French, B. Edan, the first 
article being : — 

" Rule i. The chief difficulty experienced by the 
superintendent of customs having consisted in the 
impossibility of obtaining custom-house officials with 
the necessary qualifications as to probity, vigilance, 
and knowledge of foreign languages, required for the 
enforcement of a close observance of treaty and 
custom-house regulations, the only adequate remedy 
appears to be in the introduction of a foreign element 
into the custom-house establishment, in the persons 
of foreigners carefully selected and appointed by the 
tautai, who shall supply the deficiency complained of, 
and give him efficient and trustworthy instruments 
wherewith to work." 
Under this agreement a board of three Inspectors was 
nominated, British, Captain (Sir) Thomas F. Wade (after- 
wards British Minister to Peking), American, L. Carr, and 
French, Arthur Smith. Only one of the three, Captain 
Wade, had any knowledge of the Chinese language or any 
aptitude for the duties of his post, and on his shoulders 
fell the chief burden of organising the new office ; and, on 
his resignation a year later, his place was filled by Mr. 
Horatio Nelson Lay, who had an equal knowledge of 
Chinese and equally good powers of organisation. The 
board of three continued, but the actual control came 
into the hands of the working member of the board. 

The attitude of the foreign merchants toward the new 
Inspectorate is shown by the representation addressed by 



the American merchants to their Minister, Mr. Peter Parker, 
upon his arrival in Shanghai. 

"Shanghai, August 5, 1856. 

" Sir, — We take advantage of your arrival at this 
Port to address you upon the subject of the con- 
tinuation of the foreign inspectorship in the Chinese 
Custom-house here, in so far as it affects American 

" When established here in the fall of 1854, chiefly 
at the suggestion and by the efforts of the Honorable 
Mr. McLane, the affairs of the Custom-house were 
in much confusion in consequence of existing political 
troubles in this neighborhood, and some remedy 
was ardently desired ; not only by those interested 
in securing to the Authorities their rightful dues, 
but by the great body of Merchants themselves, 
both English and American. 

" The firms which we represent were unanimous 
in approving of an arrangement which promised to 
reform the abuses into which the Custom-house had 
fallen, and to put a stop to the irregularities pre- 

" We understood, however, that the new institution 
was not intended to be permanent, unless continued 
political troubles and the concurrence of all the 
powers interested induced the establishment of the 
same system at all the ports. 

" The first and pressing cause for its establishment 
here has passed away, the authorities having fully 
reorganized their affairs and being able under their 
own system and superintendence to conduct those 
of the Custom-house with as much effect as else- 
where ; and with this cessation of any necessity for 
its continuance, we cannot but perceive the great 
disadvantage in which we are placed by it in com- 
parison with the other ports. Custom-house business 
in China under Chinese supervision is conducted 


witlTa facility which greatly aids in the despatch of 
business and the ready lading of ships when haste 
is of importance, while with the minute and in some 
respects vexatious regulations established by the 
inspectors, this advantage disappears, and this in 
itself is no small item in the account against us. There- 
fore, while expressing our desire in all cases and 
circumstances fully to meet our obligations under 
the Treaty, a desire we have proved to be sincere 
by our conduct on all former occasions, we feel our- 
selves called upon by the interests of the port and of 
those whom we represent, to press earnestly upon 
your attention the expediency and justice of abolish- 
ing the present system." 

British opinion was divided, some of the merchants 
supporting the American representation, while others 
approved of the existing regime and pressed for its ex- 
tension to all ports. The letter is noteworthy in three 
respects. It emphasises the unanimity with which the plan 
had been accepted, and it betrays a hankering for the 
flesh-pots of Egypt — for a return to the " facility " with 
which Custom-house business was conducted in China 
under Chinese supervision ; it also marks the inherent 
weakness of the arrangement in the stricter control applied 
to one only of the ports open to foreign trade. The last 
consideration was held to be the most important when the 
Tariff Commission met and, in November 1858, agreed 
to Rules of Trade, of which the tenth (substituting French 
and American respectively for British) was, for all three, 
as follows : 

" Rule 10. Collection of Duties under one System at 
all Ports. It being, by Treaty, at the option of the 
Chinese Government to adopt what means appear 
to it best suited to protect its Revenue, accruing on 
British trade, it is agreed that one uniform system 
shall be enforced at every port. 

The High Officer appointed by the Chinese Govern- 


ment to superintend Foreign trade will accordingly, 
from time to time, either himself visit, or will send 
a deputy to visit, the different ports. The said High 
Officer will be at liberty, of his own choice, and in- 
dependently of the suggestion or nomination of any 
British authority, to select any British subject he 
may see fit to aid him in the administration of the 
Customs Revenue ; in the prevention of smuggling ; 
in the definition of port boundaries ; or in discharging 
the duties of harbour-master ; also in the distribution 
of Lights, Buoys, Beacons, and the like, the main- 
tenance of which shall be provided for out of the 
Tonnage Dues." 
This article foreshadowed the appointment of an In- 
spector General of Customs, and the obviously indicated 
person was Mr. Lay. Under his authority Custom Houses 
had been opened at seven ports when, in June 1861, he was 
granted leave of absence and returned to England. He 
resumed duty as Inspector General on May 9, 1863, and 
was relieved from duty on November 30 of the same year. 
A man of marked ability, he conceived that he was destined 
to be the Clive and Dupleix, the Lally and Hastings, of a 
renovated China ; and when he failed to induce the Imperial 
Government to share this view, he fell. While in England 
he had been commissioned to procure a fleet of gunboats 
for the repression of rebellion and piracy ; and the demand 
of Mr. Lay and his commander, Captain Sherard Osborne, 
that this fleet should be directly and solely under their 
orders, was one that could not be acceded to. The fleet 
was accordingly paid off, the ships sold, and Mr. Lay 
" permitted to resign." 

Mr. Robert Hart, " The I. G.," was appointed on 
June 30, 1861, to exercise conjointly with Mr. G. H. 
Fitz-Roy the functions of Inspector General during Mr. 
Lay's absence from China. The appointment by the 
Prince Minister was communicated by a circular despatch 
signed by Mr. Hart and addressed to seven Commissioners 
of Customs, including Mr. Fitz-Roy, viz : — 


At Tientsin, C. Kleczkowsky (French) ; 

,, Chinkiang, J. K. Leonard (American) ; 

„ Shanghai, G. H. Fitz-Roy (British) ; 

„ Ningpo, Geo. Hughes (British) ; 

,, Foochow, W. W. Ward (American) ; 

„ Swatow, F. Wilzer (German) ; 

,, Canton, Geo. B. Glover (American). 

The appointment was in the following terms : — 

" The Prince of Kung, 

by Imperial appointment, Minister and Su- 
perintendent of Foreign Affairs, 
issues the following Instructions : — 

" Whereas it is laid down in Article X. of the Sup- 
plementary Treaty and Tariff, that, in order to the 
protection of the Revenue, one system shall be adopted 
at every port, and that, if it seems good to the officer 
deputed to administer the Customs' Revenue, he 
shall employ Foreigners to assist him, whom he shall 
procure without Foreign recommendation or inter- 
vention, &c. ; and Whereas, the Inspector General 
Li-tai-kwoh [Mr. Lay], now absent on sick leave, 
having introduced the Commissioners of Customs 
Fei-sze-lae [Mr. Fitz-Roy] and Heh-teh [Mr. Hart], 
under whose supervision Customs' Revenue has been 
ably and satisfactorily administered at Shanghai 
and Canton, the said Fei-sze-lae and Heh-teh 
were officially directed by the Imperial Commissioner, 
Hsieh, to exercise conjointly a general surveillance 
over all things pertaining to the collection of Customs 
Revenue and Foreign Trade at the Treaty Ports : Now, 
therefore, the Prince instructs the said functionaries, 
Fei-sze-lae and Heh-teh, that it will be their duty, 
officiating as Inspectors of affairs in accordance with 
the Treaties ; not allowing Foreigners to sell goods 
for Chinese, or the goods of Chinese to be clandes- 
tinely included in Foreign cargoes, with a view to 


the commission of frauds ; distinguishing carefully 
Imports from Exports, and Native from Foreign 
Produce, and preventing the one being confounded 
with the other. 

" It will be their duty to report quarterly the 
amounts of Duties and Tonnage Dues collected, to- 
gether with the expenses of collection; their statements 
must be truthful, perspicuous, and accurate, and 
should be transmitted in duplicate, one copy being 
for the Board of Revenue, and the other for the 
Foreign Office. 

" It will be their duty, inasmuch as it is impossible 
for the Chinese Government to form an estimate of 
the merits of the different Commissioners and other 
Foreigners employed in the public service, to take 
cognisance of the same, and make examination and 
inspection from time to time. 

" As regards the salaries to be paid and the sums to 
be expended, the Chinese Superintendents of Customs 
and the Inspectors General will proceed conjointly 
to determine the same in accordance with the state of 
the Revenue at the ports, and with due attention to 
the prevention of waste and excess. 

" For the transaction of all business connected with 
the various classes of Foreign merchant ships that 
arrive or depart, the Chinese Superintendents of 
Customs are commanded to consider it their duty 
to act in concert with the Inspectors General ; and 
the Inspectors General must make strict and faithful 
inquiry into all breaches of regulations committed 
by ships that presume to move about in contraven- 
tion of law, and into all cases wherein smuggling is 
attempted or the revenue defrauded. Should any such 
irregularities and offences be allowed to occur, the In- 
spectors General will be held responsible for the same. 

" The zealous and satisfactory manner in which 
business has hitherto been conducted, fully evinces 
that Fei-sze-lae and Heh-teh are trustworthy and 


to be depended upon ; the Prince, therefore, hereby 
confers on them the requisite powers and authority, 
and commissions them to officiate as Inspectors 
General. The salaries they are paid by the Chinese 
Government are liberal, and the responsibilities of the 
office to which they are appointed are very serious ; 
it therefore behoves them to be just, energetic, and 
assiduous in the performance of their duties. 

" The Foreigners employed in the Customs are not 
to engage in trade ; mismanagement or bad conduct 
must be followed by dismissal from the service. 

" The Officiating Inspectors General must not dis- 
appoint the great confidence the Prince reposes in 
them, in appointing them to their present Office. 

" Let this Instruction be carried strictly into exe- 
cution ! 

"A Special Instruction, addressed to the Officiating 
Inspectors General of Maritime Customs, Fei-sze-lae 
and Heh-teh (Mr Fitz-Roy and Mr. Hart). 

" Hsien-Feng, 1 ith year, $th month, 2yd day 
" 30th June, 1861." 

The office was in fact administered by Mr. Hart alone, 
with his headquarters, in 1861, June at Peking, July at 
Tientsin, September at Peking, November at Shanghai ; 
1862, May at Canton, then back to Shanghai ; 1863, February 
at Canton, April back to Shanghai, where on May 9 he 
surrendered his office. Mr. Lay, resuming his office, estab- 
lished himself at Peking. Upon the substantive appoint- 
ment of Mr. Hart, November 30, 1863, he established his 
office at Shanghai, and in May 1864 transferred the In- 
spectorate General to Peking, where it has since remained. 
During his only two absences from China, in 1866 the office 
was administered by Mr. G. H. Fitz-Roy, and in 1878-9 
by Mr. (Sir) Robert E. Bredon conjointly, first with Mr. W. 
Cartwright, later with Mr. I. M. Daae. 

Upon his appointment Mr. Hart found himself con- 
fronted by the difficulty that each Custom House had 
continued the decentralised system characteristic of Chinese 


administration, and that each Commissioner, acting con- 
jointly with his Chinese colleague the Superintendent, 
looked to the provincial authorities and considered local 
needs, and was disinclined to conform without question to 
the leading given by the centralising office, the Inspectorate 
General. The ability and tact which he has shown so 
uniformly, and in so many instances since, were never more 
marked than in Mr. Hart's first decade of office, the Sixties, 
when he had to reconcile the Imperial Government to a 
form of administration which, though working in its interest, 
was distinctly alien ; to lead, with small powers of com- 
pulsion, subordinates of marked personality and of different 
nationalities to submit their judgment to his, and accept 
his instructions for their guidance ; and to introduce into 
Customs procedure the uniformity and system which are the 
necessary concomitants of effective administration. During 
that decade elementary questions were vital, and an unwise 
settlement could easily have undermined the foundations 
of the structure he was erecting. The Chinese Customs 
collect duty, not only on imports from foreign countries, 
but also on exports whether abroad or to another Chinese 
port, and on re-importation at a Chinese port collect an 
import duty ; they also collect tonnage dues on shipping, 
transit dues exempting from further taxation foreign im- 
ports conveyed inland and native produce from inland marts 
intended for export to foreign countries, and, since 1887, 
likin on foreign opium ; with all this complexity there had 
to be maintained simultaneously foreign and native control, 
foreign and native record, and foreign and native report. 
To introduce simplification into this complexity was the 
task of the first ten years, and among the questions to be 
decided were : the regulation of the coastwise traffic ; the 
provision that the original duty payment exempted imports 
from further tax, instead of the provincial system of refund 
and repayment on each reshipment ; the regulation of 
the inland transit trade ; the compilation and publication 
of statistics ; pilotage ; emigration ; the ton equivalents 
of various lasts and metric and other tons ; and, above all, 


the proper dovetailing of the foreign and Chinese sides of 
the administration ; and all these were settled on lines which 
have endured. Mention must not be omitted of the lieu- 
tenants who seconded the work of the Inspector General 
during this formative period. In addition to the seven 
mentioned before, who were Commissioners in charge of 
ports in 1861, it is right to record the work done in instituting 
this new experiment by, among others, E. C. Bowra, Chas. 
Hannen, Trios. Dick, A. Macpherson, and W. Cartwright, 
British ; E. C. Taintor, F. E. Woodruff, and E. B. Drew, 
American ; Baron de Meritens and A. Huber, French ; and 
F. Kleinwachter and G. Detring, German. 

In all matters of procedure and regulation — in admini- 
stration ad rem — the Inspector General has always referred 
to the Imperial Government, giving of course his views, 
and the instructions he has issued for the guidance of the 
Commissioners have always been based upon the instructions 
given to him by the Government, sometimes, in important 
matters, after reference to and report by the High Com- 
missioners of Trade, the Viceroys at Tientsin and Nanking 
acting ex officio ad hoc ; and the bilateral character of the 
Service is exemplified by the practice of issuing identical 
and simultaneous instructions through the Inspector General 
to the Commissioners and through the High Commissioners 
to the Superintendents. Originally the Inspector General's 
phraseology was " I have received the commands of H.I.H. 
Prince Kung to direct " ; it then became " I enclose for 
your information and guidance copy of a despatch from 
the Tsung-li Yamen directing," and this form (with the 
substitution from 1901 of the Wai-wu Pu, and from May 
1906 of the Shui-wu Chu, for the Tsung-li Yamen) continued 
to be adopted for over forty years. Given an Inspector 
General loyal to the Government he served, the most hostile 
scrutiny could detect no development of an alien imperium 
in imperio, and during a service of close on half a century 
not a breath of suspicion has ever been thrown on the I. G.'s 
entire loyalty to those whose salt he ate. 

In the administration ad personam the Imperial Govern- 


ment has never interfered. The aim in establishing the 
Inspectorate was, momentarily to secure from foreign 
traders a revenue which the disturbed state of the country 
might otherwise render precarious, and permanently to 
secure to the central Government the advantages of Western 
system and organisation in one branch of its revenue ; 
and at the outset it was recognised that it was " impossible 
for the Chinese Government to form an estimate of the 
merits of the different . . . foreigners employed in the 
public service." The Outer Barbarians could only be 
controlled by one of themselves, and the Chinese Govern- 
ment having for that function found a man they could 
trust, trusted him. The appointment of a Commissioner in 
charge of a port, or his transfer to another post, has always 
been reported to the higher authorities, with the reasons 
influencing his selection ; but apart from this the Inspector 
General has been left to the exercise of his discretion in the 
appointment, promotion, and discharge of all placed under 
his orders, keeping in his own hands movements affecting 
foreigners, and leaving to the Commissioner at each port 
much of the control over the Chinese staff. During the 
period covered by the I.G.'s tenure of office there has pro- 
bably nowhere in the world been any servant of the state so 
unfettered in the exercise of so large a patronage ; and the 
general testimony is that his rule has been a benevolent 
despotism tempered, at times, by Legation representations. 
His rule has in general been marked by conspicuous fairness. 
Probably of no other man in the world, with so much 
personal power and such extended patronage at his disposal, 
can it be said, as it can of him, that his appointments of 
men connected with himself by ties of friendship or of 
relationship have been so few. In general, under the 
administration of Sir Robert Hart (he was knighted in 1882) 
there was developed a strong, loyal, honest, well-organised, 
and cosmopolitan service. 

The Customs Service is now (1906) organised in four 
departments, the " Inspector General of Customs and Posts " 
being the directing head of all. 





r- 1 




I. Revenue Department. 

1. Indoor Staff, the executive, controlling and 

clerical branch. 

2. Outdoor Staff, the inspecting and preventive 


3. Coast Staff, the preventive cruiser branch. 
II. Marine Department. 

1. Engineers' Staff, for construction of Lights, etc. 

2. Harbors Staff, for Coast work in general and 

Harbor work at Shanghai. 

3. Lights Staff, for operation of Lights. 

III. Educational Department. 

1. Tung Wen Kwan at Peking, which after 

forty years' good work was amalgamated 
with the Imperial University in 1902. 

2. Tung Wen Kwan at Canton. 

IV. Postal Department (instituted in 1896 as a branch 

separate from the Revenue Department). 
The growth of the Service may be gauged by the following 
comparative statement of the numbers in 1875 and in 1906. 







I. Revenue Department : 

1 . Foreign Indoor 





2. „ Outdoor 





3. Coast Staff 



f: 54 


4. Chinese Clerical 



5. „ Non- clerical 





II. Marine Department : 

1 . Engineers' Staff 




} 3IO 

2. Harbors Staff 




3. Lights Staff 





4. Chinese employees 




III. Educational Department : 






IV. Postal Department : 

Control and Clerical Staff 





Non-clerical Staff 








Total . . 






The cosmopolitan character of the Service may be 
judged from the following table showing the number of 
each foreign nationality on the staff as it stood in 1875 
and in 1906. 





























































An attempt will now be made to give some idea of the 
nature of the work done by the Chinese Customs Service, 
differing, as it does, so much from the work done by cor- 
responding organisations in other parts of the world. 

On the entry of a ship, her papers are deposited with 
the Consul of her nationality, to be surrendered only upon 
issue of a provisional Customs clearance. The passing of 
the import cargo proceeds much as elsewhere, but note is 
to be taken of the fact that from point to point the foreign 
ship and the foreign merchant are covered by the privilege 
of extraterritoriality. Against an offending ship the 
Customs have only three remedies, all strictly limited by 
treaty. For clandestine trading she may be prohibited 
from further trading along the coast, a penalty which has 
never yet been enforced ; and for having on board un- 


manifested goods — for a " false manifest " — she may be fined 
after joint investigation and decision by the Customs and 
the Consul concerned, the limit of fine being Tls.500. 
The third remedy is in the withdrawal of an extra-treaty 
concession made by the Customs ; the treaties were made 
to fit the old sailing-ship conditions, and it is only in the 
modern steamer procedure that any means can be found 
for enforcing proper preventive measures, by the with- 
drawal of the privilege of clearing before the payment of 
all import duties on the ship's cargo, whereby the Customs 
are often forced to use a steam hammer to crack a nut. 
Against the merchant the Customs have even less power, 
and, in effect, any penalties for false declaration are enforced 
against the incriminated goods, and never against the 
offending merchant : to confiscate an importer's goods 
and to fine him in addition for a breach of Customs regula- 
tions, is unheard of in China. This arises partly from the 
very considerable degree of protection accorded to foreign 
merchants by treaty, and partly from the fact that there 
is no competent tribunal before which a revenue case can 
be carried ; the Chinese territorial courts are ruled out, 
the Consul is necessarily the advocate of his national, and 
the Commissioner of Customs is a party to the case. 

Goods, having paid their import duty, are in most 
countries free to go anywhere ; in China movement is taxed 
at every point, and documentary protection must be ac- 
corded to imports at every point. This protection is given 
to foreign imports at any treaty port without further 
payment, provided that the original payment within three 
years past can be proved ; and so valuable is this pro- 
tection that Chinese produce may be shipped to a foreign 
port (e.g. Hongkong) and back to China, paying once duty 
on export and once duty on import, and a half duty on 
transport inland, and show a balance of profit over transport 
from the place of production direct to another place, perhaps 
only a couple of hundred miles away. At Shanghai the great 
volume of the re-export trade has caused the institution 
of a system of " Importer's Passes/' by which the importer 


may convey his rights to a purchaser. When re-exported 
to another treaty port, either by the original importer or 
by the purchaser under a pass, the goods are covered by 
an " exemption certificate," without which they are liable 
to import duty at the second port ; and the exemption 
applies only to goods in their original packing. If again 
re-exported, goods are again covered by exemption certifi- 
cate. If imports are intended for an " inland " place, 
i.e. any place not being a treaty port, the purchaser has the 
option of paying likin en route, or of paying half the import 
duty additional and obtaining a " transit pass inwards/' 
and being then exempt from likin. 

Chinese produce may be brought to a treaty port on 
payment of likin, or, if intended for shipment abroad, 
and only in that case, may be covered by a " transit pass 
outwards " on payment of a half duty. On shipment 
at any port export duty is paid, whether for a foreign or 
another Chinese port : in the latter case the goods are 
covered by a " duty proof." On arrival at a Chinese port 
a half duty is paid as " coast-trade duty." Upon re- 
export to any destination from this second port the coast- 
trade duty is refunded ; if re-exported to a third Chinese 
port, the goods are covered by a " duty paid certificate," 
and on arrival the coast-trade duty is again paid. Going 
inland these goods have no transit pass privilege, and the 
greatest confusion results from the necessity of distinguishing 
between, e.g. Swatow sugar shipped to Shanghai direct, 
thence re-exported to Hankow and thence going inland, 
and Swatow sugar going inland from Hankow after having 
reached there via Hongkong and Shanghai. 

Upon payment of tonnage dues a " tonnage dues 
certificate " is issued to the ship, exempting from 
further payment for a period of four months, which 
is extended by the time spent in effecting repairs in a 
Chinese port. 

Foreign opium, having paid duty and likin, is covered 
by labels affixed to each ball or small package, and ex- 
empted from all further payment so long as the labels are 


intact. Native opium is since 1906 treated in the same 
way whenever it comes under the cognisance of the Customs. 

Since November 11, 1901, the Native or Regular 
Customs have been under the supervision of the Com- 
missioner of Maritime Customs at each port. To exercise 
this supervision over a Chinese office run by Chinese methods, 
operating on a purely Chinese trade, with, to some extent, 
the original Chinese staff, and with little or no aid from 
foreign agents, and without published regulations or a unified 
tariff, is to impose on the Commissioner a task of quite 
a different character from his ordinary work, varied and 
complicated though that be, and calls for the exercise of 
the diplomatic function as much as the executive. He 
must not rub too much the wrong way those who have 
previously exercised control ; he must not render too much 
discontented the staff whose irregular practices he is there 
to check : while facilitating work to the traders by the 
introduction of regularity, he will find that too much un- 
accustomed rigidity may lead to discontent and even to 
riot ; he must satisfy the representatives of the foreign 
powers in whose interest, to secure funds for due payment 
of the indemnities, he is placed in control ; his measures 
must be such as not to alienate the Chinese Government, 
whose servant he is, while he is often called upon to enforce 
against them the provisions of their own treaties ; and all 
this he must do from a position which, in some respects, 
is rather advisory than executive. 

In the control of the Foreign, as of the Native Customs, 
the Commissioner is freed from one responsibility, in that 
he does not handle the revenues. In a country in which 
the currency is a tangled mass of complexity, and banking 
is an exact science of great inexactitude, this would be an 
impossible function for the foreigner to assume ; and the 
Commissioner's function is only to obtain a receipt certi- 
fying to the payment to the properly constituted authority 
of the amounts due, and to report the revenue so collected. 
This authority is the Customs Bank, appointed by the 
Chinese Government at each port, and revenues received 


by the bank pass directly under the control of the Chinese 
side of the Customs, the Superintendent and not the Com- 
missioner. Malpractice by the bank might be made the 
subject of representation, but for effective action would 
be rather a diplomatic than an executive matter, the affair 
of the Consul concerned than of the Commissioner. 

The Coast Service for preventive duty is composed of 
6 revenue steamers, officered by a special Coast Staff, 4 
revenue cruising launches, 21 revenue launches, and 9 
sailing-craft, officered by men detached from the Revenue 
Staff. For movement from one district to another, and for 
general control, they are under the orders of the Inspector 
General ; for personnel and materiel they are under the 
Coast Inspector ; and for control, discipline, supplies, 
and work they are directly subject to the Commissioner 
in whose district they are. Besides their ordinary pre- 
ventive duty, the revenue steamers are used in connection 
with new Lights work and for supplying Lights, and for 
coast work (surveying, etc.) as well. 

The Marine Department is divided into the Engineers', 
Harbors, and Lights branches. 

The Engineer-in-Chief is charged with the construction 
of new and maintenance of existing Lights, and the pro- 
vision of illuminating and other special supplies. He 
reports direct to the Inspector General on new proposals 
and on Lights work affecting the whole coast, and through 
the Commissioner, who has joint authority, on work affect- 
ing only one district. Under the superintendence at first 
of Mr. David Marr Henderson and recently of Mr. J. Reginald 
Harding, there have been installed by this office and are 
now working 106 Lights (of which 14 are of the first order, 
and 39 are occulting, flashing, or revolving), 4 Light-vessels, 
and 22 Light-boats. 

At the head of the Harbors Staff is the Coast Inspector, 
who supervises coast work, surveying, sea, and river con- 
servancy ; selects the sites for new Lights ; and is in 
technical control of all Harbors work and Pilotage for 
China generally. He reports direct to the Inspector 


General on matters affecting the whole coast, and through 
the Commissioner, who has joint authority, on work affect- 
ing one port or lying within one district. Subject to the 
direct control of the Commissioner, he has general control 
over the revenue steamers and their personnel. He is 
also charged with the general supervision — the direct con- 
trol being with the Commisioner — over buoys (in estab- 
lished) and beacons (105 established). Record must be 
made of the good work done by Captain A. M. Bisbee while 
he occupied this post. A Harbor Master, paid from Marine 
funds, exists only at Shanghai ; elsewhere the duties of 
the post are performed by the Tide Surveyor, a Revenue 
officer who is, under the Commissioner, in direct control 
of the Outdoor Staff. The Harbor Master is the official 
charged with the supervision of pilotage, conservancy, 
movement of shipping in port, and similar matters ; port 
regulations on these subjects are issued with the authority 
of his signature, but, as he is the subordinate of the Com- 
missioner, while the hand is the hand of the Harbor Master 
the voice is the voice of the Commissioner. In all these 
matters the Commissioner is the buffer between many 
conflicting interests, over which he can often exercise only 
an influence and not an authority ; he may, for example, 
be appealed to for a decision on a foreshore case, where 
the Chinese territorial authorities and a Consul acting for 
his national may hold opposite and irreconcilable views, 
where the Harbor Master is in theory expected to apply 
the principles of Chinese law, but where neither he nor 
the Commissioner can enforce his authority on the rival 
parties. Such a case becomes then a question of diplomacy, 
bringing in the heavy artillery of Foreign Office, Legation, 
and Inspector General, unless the Commissioner can devise 
a modus vivendi acceptable to all concerned. 

The Lights Staff consists of 58 foreign and 244 Chinese 
lightkeepers, the latter being subordinated at the larger 
Lights stations or in charge of the smaller stations. The 
maintenance of each light and the control of its staff are 
directly under the Commissioner of the district ; except 



that the Amoy Commissioner controls most of the lights in 
the adjoining districts — Foochow and Swatow, while the 
Shanghai lights and most of those in the Ningpo district 
are directly under the Coast Inspector. 

The Educational Department (merged in the Peking 
University by Imperial Decree of January n, 1902) had 
only an indirect connection with the Customs. It was 
supplied with funds through the Customs, and the Inspector 
General nominated to vacant chairs in the Peking College, 
and frequently " lent " men from the Customs for temporary 
instructing duty ; but the College was built up and directed 
for many years by the venerable Dr. W. A. P. Martin, 
educator and sinologue. The College at Canton, which 
still survives, is smaller, and is under the direct control 
of the Commissioner, as quasi colleague of the Tartar 
General, appointments to its staff being made by the 
Inspector General. 

The Postal Department will be more fully described 
in the chapter on the Post Office, and it will suffice here 
to show its connection with the Customs. In the early 
days foreign mails were sent along the coast by the primitive 
method of handing them to the steamer agents. The 
Customs organised a Postal Department for the transmission 
of its own mail matter, and in 1876 the postal facilities of 
the offices at Shanghai, Tientsin, and Peking, subsequently 
extended to Newchwang and Chefoo, were thrown open 
to the public, in order to provide uninterrupted communica- 
tion with Peking and the north during the winter, when 
the northern ports were closed by ice. Communication 
was maintained by a trunk line of couriers from Chinkiang 
to Tientsin, a distance of 800 miles, and a postal service 
organised by Mr. G. Detring, Commissioner at Tientsin, 
was in full working order by 1878. This " Customs Post " 
was found to be a convenience to the public, and in 1882 
the facilities were extended to all ports north of Fukien. 
In 1896 a decree was issued creating an Imperial Post, 
the organisation and management of which were entrusted 
to Sir Robert Hart. The new establishment was thus 


grafted on the Customs, which was called upon to provide 
men and funds for its development, and a new burden was 
laid on the shoulders of Inspector General and Commissioners. 
In the organisation of the Post, the Customs organisation 
was the foundation on which the structure was erected ; 
the Customs district became the Postal district, the Com- 
missioner of Customs became the District Postmaster, the 
Customs Accountant became the Postal District Account- 
ant, and the net balance of Postal receipts and expenditure 
became a receipt or payment entry in the Customs " Un- 
classed " account — and invariably a payment entry. The 
life-blood of Customs energy was drained away, but without 
this aid a Chinese service could not have been instituted ; 
without it an exotic organisation would have been formed, 
having its roots in Western practice but not satisfying the 
needs of China, and with it has grown up a Service which 
has grafted Western methods on Chinese requirements. 
An enormous mass of organising work was thrown on the 
broad shoulders of the Inspector General of Customs and 
Posts, and on his lieutenant, the Postal Secretary ; and 
a no less enormous amount of organising on the Commis- 
sioners. It speaks volumes for the spirit which animates 
the Service that this unaccustomed work has been cheerfully 
undertaken and carried through. The Commissioner, as 
District Postmaster, is a Postmaster General for his district, 
which in most cases is of the size and with the population 
of many a European kingdom. He audits the accounts of 
each post office, and, with his accountant, prepares his 
district accounts ; he exercises a direct supervision over 
the working of the head office at his port, which serves as 
model for the other offices in his district, and is responsible 
that existing instructions and new procedure are properly 
understood and duly carried out ; he studies the needs of his 
district, and himself decides on opening new " agencies," 
corresponding to the fourth-class post offices of the United 
States and village grocery offices of England ; he refers 
to headquarters his proposals for opening " branch offices " 
or for raising the status of an agency ; and he is the medium 


of communication with the territorial officials and with 
foreign Post Offices established in his district. He is the 
responsible head of the district, and its working and personnel 
are subject to his authority. All this adds no small amount 
to the already extended work and responsibility of that 
Jack-of-all-trades, the Commissioner of Customs. 

Nor is this all. The many departments of work which 
devolve on the Customs in China trench so often on matters 
outside even the extended sphere of the Customs Service, 
that it is naturally and inevitably brought into touch with 
questions even more remote ; where the foreign merchant 
has so privileged a position, and the relations between 
foreign and Chinese are so complicated and have so many 
ramifications, it would be difficult to define the exact limits 
of a Customs establishment working on and in a situation 
characterised by the principles of extraterritoriality. To 
exemplify this by action taken by the Inspector General 
would be to give a resume of the foreign relations of China 
for forty years, and it will be enough to refer to matters, 
purely local, in which the Commissioner of a port may be 
called upon to intervene. The first recorded intervention 
was national rather than local, and constituted the several 
Commissioners the intermediaries for paying to the British 
and French Governments the quarterly instalments of the 
indemnities due under the treaties of 1858 and i860 ; the 
" 1st quarter " for this purpose began on October 1, i860, 
and the successive quarterly reports and returns to the 
Chinese Government are still numbered from that date, 
the 184th quarter ending on September 30, 1906. Follow- 
ing this precedent the Customs have often, both generally 
through the Inspector General and locally through the 
Commissioner, been made the financial and disbursing agent 
for the payment of indemnities or of principal and interest 
of loans. One such instance will suffice. In 1895 the 
Canton authorities issued an internal loan of Tls.5, 000,000, 
the prospectus and bonds stipulating that the bonds, to 
bearer, should be countersigned by the Commissioner of 
Customs at Canton ; the proceeds of the loan be received 


by him ; the monthly instalments paid into banks to his 
order ; the coupons and drawn bonds paid by his cheque ; 
the register to be kept and bonds cancelled by him ; and 
in case of default the bonds should be received by him 
at face value in satisfaction of Customs duties. The 
Chinese Government recognised that the Chinese public 
would not trust its agents of the official hierarchy, but 
would trust the Commissioner, and the loan was a success. 
In times of foreign complication the reading and experience 
of the Commissioner have been freely drawn upon to supple- 
ment the deficiencies of provincial officials, whose reading 
and experience offered them nothing to meet the exigencies 
of a novel situation ; and many a well-intended breach 
of international conventions has been averted, many an 
Asiatic incitement in dealing with a Western enemy has 
been withdrawn or modified, many a blunder based on 
Asiatic ignorance of modern conditions has been avoided, 
under representations made by the Commissioner, and 
pressed upon the notice of the responsible officials. The 
application of the principle of extraterritoriality, too, 
brings within the purview of the Commissioner many cases 
which are not strictly Customs matters ; and yet, apart 
from missionary cases, it may be said that there are few 
questions arising under this principle which do not touch 
in some way on commerce or revenue. In such cases it 
rarely happens that some one of the parties interested, 
the Chinese territorial authority, the Consul, or the foreign 
merchant, does not invoke the aid or the influence of the 
Commissioner, and it is one of his hardest tasks to limit 
the extent of his own interference. Even in cases where 
the apparent Customs connection is of the slightest, how- 
ever, it has often been found of the greatest advantage to 
all concerned to have the representative of the foreign side 
of a Chinese administration available to act as intermediary ; 
though a Chinese official, he is a foreigner, and though a 
foreigner, he is a part of the Chinese administration ; he 
supplies to the Chinese that connection with foreign ways 
and principles in which they have been lacking, and he 


supplies to the foreign Consul and merchant the intimate 
knowledge of Chinese legal and official machinery which 
they do not always possess ; and, in the past at least, his 
position may be likened to that of the man in the middle 
of the see-saw, able to raise or to depress, as he may judge 
the right to lie on one side or the other. The general 
testimony is that this position of influence has not been 
used arbitrarily, either in favor of the Chinese Government, 
whose servant he is, or in favor of the foreigners, to whom 
he is allied by birth and education. 

In all these local matters the closest touch has always 
been maintained with the Inspector General. Commis- 
sioners have never failed to make the fullest reports to him, 
and from him have come the guidance and encouragement 
which have enabled them to grapple with questions beyond 
their ordinary capacity. He has seldom interfered unduly 
with " the man on the spot " ; but an illuminating sentence, 
coming from the experience acquired at the centre of 
affairs, has often supplied the missing thought unattainable 
by a more circumscribed knowledge. 

As one of themselves, I say of my colleagues that among 
them are many of sturdy independence of thought ; that, 
one and all, they are animated in their conduct by the 
strictest rectitude ; and that, with all their independence 
and with their varying national characteristics, no one in 
all these years has ever impugned their entire loyalty to 
their chief and the Government they serve, or the absolute 
impartiality of their administration. 

The appointment of Robert Hart in 1861 as Officiating 
Inspector General was communicated to the Commissioners 
in charge of seven ports then open ; his substantive ap- 
pointment in 1863 was communicated to thirteen ports ; 
and to-day he issues circular instructions to Commissioners 
of Customs at forty ports, to six Likin Collectorates, and 
to four Postal Commissioners. The revenue collected for 
the Imperial Government by the Service organised by him 
increased from Tls.8, 296,275 in 1865 to Tls.37, 080,457 
in 1906. The foreign trade under its cognisance increased 


from Tls. 121, 898,792 in 1865 to Tls.674, 988,988 in 1905 ; 
to these figures must be added Tls. 28, 523,449 in 1865 
and Tls. 128,647,5 10 in 1905, as the value of the original 
exports of Chinese produce carried coastwise. This gives 
Tls. 803, 636,498 as the value of the trade handled by the 
Customs during 1905, but, with the necessity of continuing 
documentary protection at every stage, the work done by 
the Customs is by no means measured by this value. During 
1905 permits and protecting documents on import, export, 
re-export, re-import or transit inland, were issued for goods 
valued at Tls.1,737, 546,961. 

Sir Robert Hart, the organiser of the Service which has 
done this work, was born on February 20, 1835, the same year 
in which the Empress Dowager of China was born. After 
graduating (A.B. and Senior Scholar) at Queen's University, 
Ireland, in 1853, he was appointed Supernumerary Inter- 
preter to the British Superintendency of Trade at Hongkong 
in May 1854 ; and in May 1859 was granted special per- 
mission to resign in order to join the newly instituted 
Chinese Customs Service. He was appointed Officiating 
Inspector General in 1861 and Inspector General in 1863. 
In May 1885 he was appointed Her Britannic Majesty's 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the 
Emperor of China and also to the King of Korea, but did 
not take up the appointment, and continued as Inspector 
General. His services to China and to the world have 
been recognised in a tangible way by the bestowal of many 
honors. From China he received in 1864 the brevet title 
of Provincial Judge, with civil rank of the third class ; 
in 1869 the brevet title of Provincial Treasurer, with civil 
rank of the second class ; in 1881 the red button of the 
first class ; in 1885 the order of the Double Dragon, second 
division, first class, and the distinction of the Peacock's 
Feather ; in 1889 Ancestral Rank of the first class of the 
first order, dated back for three generations, with Letters 
Patent ; in 1901 the brevet title of Junior Guardian of 
the Heir Apparent ; and in 1902 he was received in Audience 


by the Empress Dowager and Emperor. His native land 
has recognised the distinction he has conferred upon it 
by making him in 1879 a Companion of the Most Distin- 
guished Order of St. Michael and St. George, in 1882 a 
Knight Commander, and in 1889 a Knight Grand Cross 
of the same order ; and in 1893 a Baronet of the United 
Kingdom. Other countries also have shown their apprecia- 
tion of the value of his work, and he has received decorations, 
many of them Grand Croix or Grand Officier, from Belgium, 
Sweden, Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Holland, 
Prussia, and the Pope. From the United States has come 
the degree of LL.D., bestowed upon him by the University 
of Michigan. For native ability and power of organisation 
he may be compared, in one aspect or another, with John 
Lawrence and Alexander Hamilton. His monument is in 
the Service he created, and his life-record is in the history 
of the foreign relations of China during a period of forty 
years of transition. Another will sit in his chair, another 
will sign as Inspector General, but in the history of China 
there will be but one " I. G." 



An organised service for the conveyance of government 
despatches has existed in China for many centuries, the 
I-chan, or Government Service of Couriers, being mentioned 
in the records of the Chow Dynasty, the beginnings of which 
date back 3,000 years. During the succeeding centuries the 
necessity was always felt of maintaining regular com- 
munication between the Emperor and his Government at 
the capital, and his officials and garrisons in the provinces ; 
and what may be called postal communication was as fully 
organised in China as it was under Persian Kings or Roman 
Emperors. The I-chan is wholly maintained by the State 
through provincial contributions from ordinary local taxes, 
the cost being estimated in a j oint memorial to the Throne in 
1902 by the two Yangtze Viceroys, at some Tls.3,000,000 
annually. The service is under the supervision of the 
Board of War at Peking. The direct control is exercised 
by the Cart and Chariot Department of the Board, and, 
under it, the Horse Office controls the couriers and their 
horses, and the Despatch Office receives and forwards the 
official mails at the capital itself. At each provincial 
capital is a Director of Posts, a military officer appointed by 
the Board of War, and placed under the orders of the Pro- 
vincial Judge, his duty being to see that despatches are 
transmitted without impediment. The actual forwarding 
is done by each District Magistrate from border to border of 
his district, and the cost is a charge on his budget. With 
the constitutional conservatism of Chinese officialdom in 
matters of expenditure — in never letting go a good thing 
when they have it — the full machinery of the I-chan is still 
maintained, though, when available, steamers and railways are 
now utilised for the more rapid transmission of despatches. 



The Wenpao Chii, or Document Office, is an offshoot of 
the I-chan, but quite independent of it. On the appointment 
of Ministers to foreign countries in 1875, it became necessary 
to arrange for the transmission of their despatches between 
Peking and Shanghai, where they could be deposited in and 
taken from the foreign Post Offices ; and offices were opened 
for this purpose at Tientsin and Shanghai. In subsequent 
years offices were opened at Yangtze ports from Hankow 
down, and at coast ports as far south as Canton ; and much 
of the work of the I-chan along the coast and on the Yangtze 
is done by these offices. Notwithstanding the development 
of the Imperial Post, the Wenpao Chii continues to function. 

The only really Government Post open to the public, 
organised by Chinese officials, was established in Formosa. 
When, after the attack by the French naval forces in 1884-5, 
the attention of the Imperial Government was drawn to 
the necessity of organising the island as a province, the 
Imperial High Commissioner and Governor, Liu Ming-chuan, 
introduced several startling innovations, among them a 
railway and a Post Office. For the latter it was at first 
proposed to adopt adhesive stamps, and they were ordered 
from England in two denominations, red 3-cent for short 
distances, and green 5-cents for longer distances. The 
simplicity of an almost uniform tariff worked, as always in 
China, against its adoption ; and these stamps had a history 
unique in philately, being used for railway tickets. This 
Post Office was ultimately organised on the following lines: — 

1. Mails were carried by couriers on foot. 

2. The postal routes were divided into stages, averaging 

a day's journey in length, or, say, 70 to 100 li. 

3. Letters and packages were carried at the rate of 20 

cash per tael per stage, with additional charges 
for delivery at places not on the main routes. 

4. Postage stamps were of two kinds — official and 

ordinary. The former were supplied to public 
offices, free of charge, to be used on official 
mail matter ; and the latter were sold to the 
public. As regards stamps, the system was 


cumbrous. Stamps were not sold to the public 
indiscriminately. Any one who had a letter to 
forward, say from Tamsui to Tekcham, took 
it to the Tamsui district Post Office, where he 
prepaid 60 cash for the three stages, and got 
a receipt for his letter, the Post Office affixing 
the stamp. The letter was then sent on to 
Taipei, and thence to Tiongleck and Tekcham, 
receiving at each stage an additional stamp, 
probably as evidence of the responsibility of 
the affixing office. 
This organisation fell on the cession of Formosa to Japan 
in 1895. 

These are the postal organisations instituted by the 
Government of China, and, except in Formosa, for the 
transmission of official despatches only. The people of 
China are essentially a literary and commercial people, and 
in both capacities are a letter-writing people ; and for 
centuries past they have attended to the transmission of 
their business and family correspondence with no more 
support or interference from the Government than is given 
to any other commercial undertaking. This they did by 
" Letter Hongs," usually established by a remittance bank 
or a merchant's firm having its own business connections 
with certain other places, and having its own correspondence 
to forward, undertaking for a consideration to forward the 
letters of other people, and gradually extending their postal 
operations to other places in the same direction to which 
their ordinary business does not extend. Under this system 
very strong letter hongs have been developed, utilising 
every means of conveyance, and meeting in every way the 
wishes of the public ; maintaining fast special services 
where they are wanted, content with slow channels where 
economy is the first object, keeping open until after midnight 
when that hour is more suitable, and, most attractive in 
China, making the addressee pay a portion of the postage, 
usually half. The transmission of silver, bank drafts, and 
parcels is a most lucrative part of their business. They have 


a tariff, more or less fixed according to distance, ranging 
from 20 cash (%d.) to 200 cash (5^.) for each letter, but are 
not particular to an ounce or two in the weight ; and these 
rates may be reduced to an important customer or commuted 
for an annual subsidy, while smaller people will ordinarily 
pay more, and addressees are regularly mulcted in extra 
payments. On the whole the system has suited admirably 
the public which it serves, but has the fatal defect, from a 
national point of view, that it does not encourage postal 
development on lines not immediately profitable, the funds 
for this purpose, derived from the more profitable routes, 
being diverted to private pockets. 

Any national and general postal organisation has thus 
two strong vested interests to encounter : the first, the 
official interest in the expenditure of Tls.3, 000,000 annually 
in rendering a service which could be performed by other 
hands at less than half the cost ; the second, the com- 
mercial interest in a profitable business enterprise, under 
a government which never coerces the people but acts 
mainly by moral suasion and on the principle of " live 
and let live." 

The Imperial Post was established by Imperial Decree 
on March 20th, 1896, as the result of a long experiment 
begun as far back as 1861 by the Inspector General of the 
Chinese Maritime Customs Service, Sir Robert Hart ; 
and Mr. T. Piry traces the development in his report on 
the Working of the Post Office for the year 1904 : — 

" Early in the ' sixties,' during the first few winters 
after Foreign Representatives took up their residence 
at Peking, the Legation and Customs mails were 
exchanged between Shanghai and Peking, under the 
auspices of theTsung-liYamen,by means of the Govern- 
ment couriers employed for the transmission of official 
despatches. It was then found convenient to arrange 
that the Customs should undertake the responsibility 
of making up and distributing these mails, a practice 
which, for the overland service during the winter 
months, involved the creation of Postal Departments 


at the Inspectorate and in the Custom Houses at 
Shanghai and Chinkiang, and, similarly, for the 
transmission of mails by coast steamers during the 
open season, the opening of quasi-Postal Departments 
in the Tientsin and other coast port Custom Houses. 
At that early date it could be seen that out of this 
simple beginning might be elaborated a system 
answering other and larger requirements, on the 
principle of a National Post Office. This idea 
gradually shaped into form and had already so much 
ingratiated itself in the official mind that in 1876, 
when the Chef 00 Convention was being negotiated, 
the Tsung-li Yamen authorised the Inspector General 
to inform the British Minister, Sir Thomas Wade, that 
it was prepared to sanction the establishment of a 
National Postal System and willing to make it a Treaty 
stipulation that postal establishments should be 
opened at once. Unfortunately, through, so to speak, 
a conspiracy of silence, the insertion of the postal 
clause was omitted in the official text of the Treaty, 
and thus the project was postponed sine die. Mean- 
while, however, the experiment was persevered with 
and warmly encouraged by the Imperial Commissioner 
Li Hung-chang, who promised to 'father' it officially 
as soon as it proved a success. Hence the more 
formal opening of Postal Departments at various 
Custom Houses, the 1878 experiment of trying a 
Native Post Office alongside the Customs Post, and 
the establishment of Customs couriers from Taku 
to Tientsin, from Tientsin to Peking, and the Customs 
winter mail service overland from Tientsin to New- 
chwang, from Tientsin to Chefoo, and from Tientsin 
to Chinkiang, as also the introduction of Customs 
postage stamps in 1878. 

" The growing importance of the Service thus 
quietly built up and its convenience for regular com- 
munications with Peking and between Treaty ports 
were not only appreciated by the foreign public, but 


were also recognised by the foreign Administrations 
having postal agencies in China. In 1878 China was 
formally invited to join the Postal Union. In the same 
year, while on a visit to Paris, the Inspector General 
was sounded by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs 
as to a possible way of withdrawing the French Post 
Office in Shanghai ; and while, more than once, the 
British Postmaster General at Hongkong expressed 
his readiness to close the Hongkong Post Office 
agencies along the coast, arrangements were actually 
discussed for the absorption by the Customs Depart- 
ment of the Municipal Post Office at Shanghai. But no 
definite response to these overtures could be given, or 
final steps taken, before the Chinese Government had 
declared its intention to undertake national responsi- 
bilities ; and the Customs Department continued to 
satisfy only certain wants and prepare the system 
for further development till, twenty years after the 
Chefoo Convention, the Decree of the 20th March, 
1896, appeared. This Decree created an Imperial 
Post for all China, to be modelled on Western lines, the 
organisation and management of which were confided 
to Sir Robert Hart, who from that date has acted 
in the double capacity of Inspector General of 
Customs and Posts. 

" This long hesitation on the part of the Chinese 
Government to formally recognise and foster an 
institution known to have worked with such profitable 
results in foreign countries, both from public and 
revenue standpoints, may be to some people a matter 
of surprise. But it must not be forgotten that from 
immemorial times the Chinese nation has possessed 
two postal institutions : one, the I-chan (or Imperial 
Government Courier Service), deeply rooted in official 
routine ; the other, the Native posting agencies, long 
used and respected by the people. Both give employ- 
ment to legions of couriers, and are still necessary to 
the requirements of an immense nation ; they can 


neither be suppressed, transformed, nor replaced at a 
stroke. The Imperial decision therefore only gave 
final sanction to a new and vast undertaking, but 
abolished nothing : it is through competition and 
long and persevering efforts that the two older systems 
must be gradually superseded and the implantation 
of the National Post Office patiently pursued." 

The first notification of the extension to the public of 
the Customs postal facilities appeared in the Shanghai 
newspapers in the following terms : — 

Winter Service 

Postage Stamps and copies of Postal Tariff may 
be obtained on application at the Customs Postal 

(Signed) J. H. Hart. 

Shanghai, 16th December, 1878. 

This winter service was organised by the Tientsin 
Customs Commissioner, Mr. G. Detring, in 1876, so as to 
maintain, with an overland courier service via Chinkiang, 
the postal communications with the outer world necessarily 
interrupted by the port of Tientsin being ice-blocked. 

Mr. Detring sent to Shanghai one of his Writers, a 
Mr. Wu Kuan, who, under the control of the Shanghai 
Commissioner, supervised the overland courier service to 
the north. This department, which was called the Shu 
Hsin Kuan, or Post Office, was opened on July 24, 1878, 
and started with a staff of seventeen men. 

Under instructions issued in December 1882, the system 
was extended to all treaty ports north of Fukien, but still 
working on " Postal Department " principles, and this 
continued until the issue of the Imperial Decree in 1896. 
Up to this time Mr. Detring had, under the Inspector 
General, been mainly responsible for the organisation and 
development of postal work, under the designation of Postal 
Commissioner. In 1896 Mr. H. Kopsch was appointed the 


first Postal Secretary ; he was succeeded in 1897 by Mr. J. 
A. van Aalst ; and he in 1901 by Mr. T. Piry, to whom the 
present organisation of the Post Office is mainly due. 

Under its present organisation the headquarters of the 
Imperial Post Office are at Peking, where all postal affairs 
are dealt with by the Postal Secretary, under the Inspector 
General of Customs and Posts. There is also at Shanghai 
a Deputy Postal Secretary to attend to supplies. The 
Eighteen Provinces and Manchuria have been divided into 
postal districts, now forty-one in number. Next to the 
headquarters staff come Postal Commissioners — now four, 
at Peking, Hankow, Shanghai, and Canton — exercising direct 
control over their own district and a supervising direction 
over neighboring districts. The other treaty-port districts 
are under the Commissioner of Customs acting ex officio as 
District Postmaster ; and the inland districts, six in number, 
are under District Inspectors stationed at the respective 
provincial capitals. 

Each Head or Sub-Head Office has under it a certain 

number of subordinate offices ; these are of three kinds : — 

Branch Offices, at which the Imperial Post Office 

maintains its own staff on its own premises ; 
Inland Agencies, at which licensed Agents, who are 
usually substantial shopkeepers of the place and 
guaranteed, undertake all postal business, includ- 
ing the delivery of correspondence, in return for 
a fixed commission and certain other emoluments ; 
Box Offices — that is, small shops in which the 
Imperial Post Office places letter-boxes, cleared at 
certain times during the day, and where the owner, 
under license and guarantee, is allowed to sell 
stamps to the public in return for a small com- 
mission : ordinary postal business, including regis- 
tration, can be effected at these shops, but the 
owners do not undertake delivery. Box Offices 
are placed in all large cities as adjuncts to the 
Head and Branch Offices situated there. In 


addition, in certain cities are to be found street 
pillar-boxes, which are cleared at regular intervals. 

All Branch Offices established at important places 
undertake the transmission of small sums of money by 
means of a Money Order system, with a limit of $50 for 
places served by steam, and $10 for other places. 

The size of each postal district was originally determined 
by consideration of the distance, the density of population, 
and the means of communication available in the district ; 
but, the limits once defined, it has been left to Postmasters 
to extend to inland places within their districts on certain 
broad lines fixed by headquarters, and this extension, begun 
in 1901, is continued; and it is intended to open and establish 
direct postal routes to as many as possible of the prefectural 
and district cities, and to bring every open place into 
postal communication, via the Treaty ports or Peking, with 
the foreign mail termini at Shanghai, Tientsin, Canton, 
thence with Union countries and the outside world. 

The result of this first period of extension has been 
that at this date the Imperial Post Office is to be found and 
all postal business can be transacted in every provincial 
capital of the Empire, in most prefectural and district 
cities, and in the more important smaller centres and 
towns throughout China. The total number of establish- 
ments on December 31, 1906, was 2,096. 

Communication between Imperial establishments is 
kept up by means of contract steamers on the coast and 
large rivers ; by railways where they exist ; by steam- 
launches, junks, or hong-boats on the inland waterways ; 
and on the numerous overland routes, which now measure 
over 110,000 li (35,000 miles) in length, by mounted or foot 

The coast and river steamers and launches run on 
certain lines and between fixed points, and are availed of 
wherever possible. Railways are still in their infancy in 
China, but lines already open are used to their full extent. 
Hong-boats are chiefly used in the southern part of Kiangsu 
and northern Chekiang — a district with a large network 



of canals and small creeks, many of them unnavigable by 
launches. This part of China is also very densely populated, 
and although the Shanghai, Hangchow, and Ningpo districts 
are not extensive, they contain an unusually large number 
of post offices, a remark likewise applicable to the Canton 
delta districts. 

Communication by couriers, of a kind to fulfil the 
requirements of a Postal Service built up on Western lines, 
has naturally been no easy matter in a vast country like 
China, presenting every variety of geographical features 
and where public roads are utterly neglected. Old-estab- 
lished trade routes are usually followed, even at the cost of 
extra distance, as offering greater safety for the couriers, 
and as capable of convenient subdivision into stages, from 
the number of towns and villages found on them. Stages 
are generally limited to ioo li (33 English miles), and the 
couriers run according to schedule on fixed days ; but on 
the main routes speed is accelerated as much as possible, 
daily despatch being ensured on them for light mails and 
an every-two-days or semi-weekly service for heavy mails. 
For light mails night-and-day foot couriers are used in 
some parts and mounted couriers in others, raising the 
speed to 200 li (or 65 miles) per day. The couriers are 
the employees of the Imperial Post Office, and wear 
uniforms or badges. 

As actually constituted, the staff of the Imperial Post 
Office includes — 

Inspector General and Headquarters 

Staff 5 

Postmasters ex officio . . . . . . 33 

Postal Commissioners . . . . . . 4 

Postmasters, Deputy Postmasters, and 

Assistants . . . . . . . . 14 

District Inspectors . . . . . . 4 

Postal Officers 78 

Mail Escort Officers . . . . . . 6 




Inspecting Clerks . . . . . . 29 

Chinese Clerks — linguists . . . . 319 

,, non-linguists . . 674 

Postal Agents 1,361 

Writers . . . . . . . . . . 5 

Sorters, Letter-carriers and Couriers, and 

Miscellaneous . . . . . . 3,190 


Total Foreign and Chinese . . 5,722 

The functions of Postmasters are for the present fulfilled 
by the Commissioners of Customs authorised to act at the 
Treaty Ports as Postmasters ex officio, or, for a few ports, 
by separate appointees. Deputy Postmasters are ad- 
ditional at the largest ports. District Inspectors reside in 
the interior in charge of sub-districts or travel on tours of 
inspection of the inland establishments. Postal Officers 
supervise all Service details at Head Offices, and control 
from there all the routine work and active operations 
carried on by native hands throughout the districts. Chinese 
linguist clerks possess a practical knowledge of English, and 
do duty at Head Offices or act in charge of Branch Offices 
at places where foreign communities are found. Non- 
linguists are not required to know a foreign language, and 
work at Head Offices under the linguists, or in charge of 
various establishments inland. Grades and rates of pay 
are fixed, and all employees advance by promotion. Chinese 
clerks are all guaranteed, and the whole system which, in 
the main, rests on their honesty and their efficiency, works 
satisfactorily, cases of loss, misbehavior, or peculation 
being of extremely rare occurrence. 

A uniform and elaborate system of accounts has been 
devised for recording all receipts and expenditure. Each 
Head Office, under foreign supervision, keeps the accounts 
of its district and renders them to Peking, where they are 



audited and passed to a General Account for the whole 

The organisation as above described, incomplete as it 
is yet, answers the most immediate requirements of postal 
work ; and the progress made these last few years — that is, 
since steady expansion began in 1901 — vouches for the 
soundness of the system upon which it is established. 

A few comparative figures will prove interesting. 

1 901. 




District Offices 





Branch Offices 










Articles dealt with 





Parcels : number 





weight in lbs. 





Letters in Native 

clubbed mails 





Divided between the four large geographical divisions 
of China, the results for 1906 can be summarised as 
follows : — 




North China : Peking to Kiaochow . . 
Central China : Kiukiang to Chunking 
Lower Yangtze : Wuhu to Hangchow . . 
Southern China and Yunnan Stations . . 









A few words must be said on the financial means of this 
large Service. It may not be generally known that, not 
only had the postal experiment started in 1861 to be 
carried on for over thirty years against numerous difficulties 
and without the avowed support of the Government, but, 
even after its formal recognition in 1896, without any 
special pecuniary help from it. The Customs Service, under 
the leadership of Sir Robert Hart, had alone, from the 


beginning, to support this stupendous enterprise, lending 
to it the assistance of its staff and such resources as it 
could spare ; the independent and quiet creation of an 
administration so new and so useful is the more wonderful 
in this immovable country, and it will not be the least of 
the services rendered by the Customs and its chief to China 
and her people. In the middle of 1904 the Chinese Govern- 
ment, confident at last of the ultimate success of the National 
Post Office, granted the subsidies required to bring up this 
Service to a state of completeness. On June 12, 1904, 
the Inspector General was notified by the Yamen that 
in future an annual grant of Hk. Tls.720,000 would be 
issued, payable in monthly instalments of Hk. Tls. 10,000 
at six of the Treaty Ports — Tientsin, Shanghai, Hankow, 
Foochow, Swatow, and Canton. This grant has not been 
received in full, not more than half being forthcoming, but 
it enables the Service to provide for its actual money 
deficiency. The Post Office is worked " on the cheap." 
Chinese cheap labour is utilised to the fullest extent com- 
patible with paying a sufficient living wage to remove from 
the staff the necessity of supplementing it by peculation ; 
and in addition much is still provided from funds of the 
Revenue Department of the Customs. The salaries of the 
Inspector General, the Deputy Postal Secretary, the District 
Postmasters ex officio, the District Accountants, and many 
subordinate employees are not a charge on postal funds ; the 
mass of printed forms required, about thirty million in 
a year, are provided without special accounting ; office 
accommodation is provided on Customs premises at many 
of the smaller ports ; steamer mail subsidies are paid from 
Customs funds ; and it is probable that a complete sever- 
ance of Customs and Postal expenditure would add to the 
latter some lakhs of taels a year. 

It must be acknowledged that the Postal undertaking 
has long passed the experimental stage. Large communities, 
foreign and Chinese, are now dependent on the Imperial 
Post Office for the transmission of their correspondence, 
and the public duties of the Service increase every day. 


New establishments are wanted in every direction, and 
at those now open the work is becoming heavier. The 
system hitherto followed, to stretch out lengthy lines of 
couriers so as to rapidly bring all large cities of the interior 
into communication with treaty ports, had to be carried 
on without special regard to the local exploitation of each 
great centre, and, as a consequence, many are still only 
provided with Agencies quite inadequate to their require- 
ments. Every fu and hsien city should now have its own 
and properly constituted Post Office, able, separately, to 
undertake the establishment and control of agencies or 
box offices in all the localities in its neighborhood. A 
larger staff and larger means are required for this, and it 
is obvious that until this is done much of the advantages 
and possibilities of the new system will be neglected. These 
considerations have been brought to the notice of the Chinese 
Government, and effective official support in various direc- 
tions is now assured. Doubts can no longer be entertained 
that the Postal programme is definitely accepted and 
welcomed in official circles, and we have seen in Shansi, 
Honan, Hupeh, and some other provinces the high pro- 
vincial authorities issue, of their own accord, remarkable 
proclamations making known to the population the char- 
acter and aims of the Imperial Post Office, and enjoining 
upon all to welcome and support it as the national institu- 
tion. There is now no more trouble, on the opening of new 
establishments, to obtain local proclamations from the 
authorities of the place, and, in fact, Magistrates not 
unfrequently apply of themselves for the planting of es- 
tablishments in their cities, and wherever protection is 
asked for offices or couriers it is readily granted. Indica- 
tions are seen everywhere of the growth of the institution ; 
its low rates, quickness, and regularity draw the public 
more and more to its counters. 

China has not yet formally entered the Universal Postal 
Union, but special Conventions entered into with Japan, 
France, Hongkong, and India place her, through the inter- 
mediary of the contracting Administrations, in exactly the 


same postal relations with all Union countries as if she had 
already joined it. Under these Conventions Chinese mail 
matter for abroad, franked in Chinese stamps, is handed 
over in open bags to the foreign Post Office at the foreign 
mail terminus port, and that Post Office, by date-stamping 
each cover, confers on it the right of admission into any 
Union country in the world ; on the other hand, the foreign 
Post Office hands over in a similar way its incoming cor- 
respondence for transmission through Chinese lines. There 
is thus between the Chinese and foreign Offices an exchange 
of services which are paid for, as is done by any two Union 
countries, on the basis of yearly statistics taken during the 
first twenty-eight days of Mayor November of alternate years, 
and which are settled at the established Union rates. For 
this exchange of services foreign governments have made 
ample provision. At Shanghai, where a reason for the 
presence of a few of them exists in the necessity of con- 
necting with various national and subsidised lines of mail 
steamers, there are no less than six foreign Post Offices — 
British, French, German, American, Japanese, and Russian 
— and, to utilise fully the postal facilities of the port, 
the public may find it expedient to keep supplies of the 
postage stamps of seven nations. At other ports no such 
necessity now exists, but foreign Post Offices, from one to 
five (the American not participating) , have been established 
at twenty-five ports, not including French Offices at Mengtsz 
and Chungking for an internal and purely Chinese postal 
traffic. Of these, the British offices were established many 
years ago to supply the need of merchants when no other 
postal facilities were offered to the public ; but, except at 
Shanghai, the others all date from the general scramble for 
political influence of the past dozen years. 

It should be remembered here that in dealing with 
international correspondence, China in every respect con- 
forms to the rules of a Union country. In April 1896, 
shortly after the promulgation of the Imperial edict es- 
tablishing the National Post, China addressed the Conseil 
Federal Suisse, notifying the creation of the Imperial 


Postal Service, and her formal intention to join the Union 
as soon as organisation permitted ; meanwhile her Post 
Offices, as they opened at the Treaty and other ports, were 
to observe Union practice and rules. These declarations 
she confirmed again before the Universal Postal Congress 
of Washington in 1897, and ever since she has acknowledged, 
at these places, Universal Postal Union regulations and 
rates. Consequently, all international mail matter, to and 
from Treaty Ports and steam-served places, are passed free 
at Chinese Offices if fully prepaid at Union tariffs, and 
when a tax is applied for insufficiency of postage, it is done 
in conformity with Union rules. To non-steam-served 
places, where communications have to be maintained by a 
costly service of land couriers, the rule remains the same 
for light articles — letters and postcards ; but on printed 
matter and other heavy mail articles the Chinese Admini- 
stration imposes a domestic charge, distinct from Union 
rates, to cover courier expenses. As regards more par- 
ticularly mail matter arriving from British places at the 
penny postage rate or from the United States at American 
domestic rate, if received for distribution at Shanghai, it 
is distributed free, but if received for further transmission 
through the Imperial Post Office system, it is taxed in 
conformity with Union rules. 

The native letter hongs present a far more difficult 
problem. Entrenched in monopoly and possessing a 
profitable vested interest in postal work, they obtain the 
backing which is always given in China to vested interests, 
and even the provision of cheaper postal facilities to the 
public does not prevail against their plea that " they are 
there, and wish to remain there." Compulsion and the 
monopoly of postal transmission to the Government Office 
are out of the question, and the Imperial Post has been 
driven to invite them to co-operate. Registration hurts no 
one, and they have been given practically free transport * 
for their closed mails — called " clubbed mails " — along the 
coast, and these mails they have consented to hand over 

* A charge for transport was imposed from November 1906 


for transmission. Unprofitable inland lines they have been 
willing to abandon, but for the profitable routes they fight 
tooth and nail. Between them and the National Post it 
is " a fair field and no favor," and the latter, with fixed 
rules and more or less fixed hours, is heavily handicapped 
against business agencies with flexible rules and no hours 
to speak of. The Chinese trader and official know no limi- 
tation to their hours of business, and they patronise the 
agency which consults their convenience. The Post Office 
must close at some fixed hour, even if it is at 9 or 10 p.m. 
The business agency can remain open until 2 or 3 or 4 a.m. 
if thereby business is furthered, and makes a practice of 
collecting mail matter, even at those hours, from its clients' 
places of business. By these conditions the Post Office in 
China is driven to develop on lines of its own, without 
much regard to procedure elsewhere, and several innovations 
have been introduced experimentally. An " express de- 
livery " system has been instituted at and between Peking, 
Tientsin, Shanghai, Hankow, Foochow, and Canton ; house 
to house collection has been started in the business section 
of certain large cities ; and, in general, every effort is made 
to increase postal facilities to meet the views of an exacting 
Chinese public. 


The reform of the government has been taken in hand, and 
below are given two Imperial Edicts issued on November 6, 


1. — We have already issued an Imperial Decree to prepare 
for a Constitutional Government, and we have appointed at the 
same time Duke Tsai-Tse and others to compile administrative 
reforms and Prince Ching and others to supervise the same ; 
and such reforms, we have decreed, will be carried out after 
receiving our sanction. Now, the said Princes and High Com- 
missioners have presented the draft administrative reforms 
for our perusal and asked us to scrutinise the same, after 
which to be duly promulgated. 

Since the reigns of ancestors of our dynasty there have 
always been Constitutions and a proper administrative system, 
but these were made to meet the necessity of the times, and 
the present state of affairs is quite different from the days of 
old, and such shall be taken into consideration according to the 
circumstances. However, it is important solely to have people 
who are responsible for their acts, and to erase all the abuses 
and to have effective administration instead of nominal, and to 
re-organise all the offices in a practical manner. The Grand 
Council is the centre of all the departments of administration, 
and it was at first established out of the Grand Secretariat in 
the reign of the Emperor Yungcheng, and lately the Council 
has been in close touch with the Throne and daily in attend- 
ance in the Palace to receive Imperial orders. This usage it 
is desirable to maintain, as it is able to maintain secrecy and 
to deal with state affairs more promptly ; and, moreover, there 
having been no abuse hitherto, there is no reason to abolish the 
same, and therefore the Grand Council will remain as hitherto 
without any change. The Presidents of the Boards are hereby 
appointed also to act as Tsanyu Chengwu Tachen or Ministers 
of State, and they are ordered to attend the Palace on duty, 
deciding their date of attendance by rotation, in order to com- 
municate their views to the Throne and to reply to questions 
from the Throne. 



The Waiwu Pu (the Board of Foreign Affairs) and the Li 
Pu (the Board of Civil Appointments) will be the same as hitherto. 
The police affairs being only a part of civil administration, the 
Board of Constabulary is hereby re-named the Board of Civil 
Administration or Min-cheng Pu. The Board of Revenue or 
Hu Pu is re-named the Board of Finance or Tuchih Pu, in which 
the Council of Finance or Tsaicheng Chu is included. The 
Board of Rites is hereby amalgamated with the Courts of 
Sacrificial Worship, Imperial Entertainments, and that of State 
Ceremonial, and will remain under the old name of Lee Pu. 

The Board of Education remains as hitherto. 

The Ping Pu or Board of War is re-named Luchiin Pu, and the 
Board of Army Reorganisation and the Court of Imperial Stud 
amalgamated in it. It is also decided to take charge of the 
affairs of the Navy and General Staff until the establishment 
of a Board of Navy and General Staff which will be established 
in future. The Board of Punishment is re-named Fah Pu or 
the Board of Justice, to be responsible for all the judicial ad- 
ministration ; and the Grand Court of Revision is re-named 
Tali Yuan or Court of Cassation, which is to take charge solely 
of the matter of trying civil litigations and minor cases. The 
Board of Works is amalgamated with the Board of Commerce 
under the new style of Nung-kung-chang Pu. The affairs re- 
lating to steamships, railways, telegraphs, and postal administra- 
tion are now placed under a new Board called the Board of 
Communications or Yuchuan Pu Lifan Yuan or the Mongolian 
Superintendency is hereby re-named the Lifan Pu or the Board 
of Colonies. 

Except the Waiwu Pu, the system of which will remain as 
hitherto, all the other Boards will have one President and 
two Vice-Presidents, without making any distinction between 
Manchu and Chinese. 

The Censorate is an office where the administative officials 
are looked after and either impeached or recommended according 
to the circumstances. Now one President and two Vice-Presidents 
are appointed to the Censorate, and the Supervising Censors of 
the Six Boards are to be called merely Supervising Censors. 
Otherwise there will be no change. 

The Tsecheng Yuan or Government Council, where the pro- 
minent officials are appointed to assist in state affairs, and 
Shenchi-yuan or the Court of Auditors, where all the revenues 
and expenditures have to the audited, will be newly established. 

The Imperial Clan Court, Hanlin Yuan, Imperial Board of 
Astronomy, Imperial Equipage Department, Imperial House- 
hold, Banner Battalions, Imperial Guards, Peking Gendarmeries, 
the city of Peking as well as the Peking Granaries, do not need 


to be reformed. Regarding the affairs to be dealt with by each 
Board and Court and the number of officials to be used, etc., 
the heads of each Board and Court are hereby ordered to study 
the matter and after due consultation with the Grand Council 
they shall report upon the same to the Throne to get sanction 
thereof. The reforms hereby promulgated are not yet complete, 
but are simply effected to meet the present circumstances to 
prepare for constitutional government, and further reforms 
will be made from time to time. We do not make any radical 
measure, but will reform gradually so as to complete our reforms 
in time. In a word, under the present difficult situation, unless 
we adopt a certain rule to be followed both by the superior and 
the rest equally, the present decadence of state affairs cannot 
be remedied. Unless there is a way to understand each other — 
between sovereign and people — it is not possible to have griev- 
ances heard and rectified. All the high officials who will be 
newly appointed and are already in their posts are hereby 
ordered to attend to their respective official duties with full 
responsibility, and to carry out their works effectively instead 
of becoming nominal, and they shall abandon their personal 
feelings but unite to aid in the affairs of the state being properly 
carried out. If such be the case, we can expect that the con- 
stitution which will in future be promulgated may become a 
success. And if there is no improvement and there is no 
progress, it is not only against the wishes of the Throne but 
also that of the nation. This decree is hereby ordered to be 
promulgated to the general public. 

2. — The high officials who lost their positions owing to the 
administrative reforms are to receive salaries as hitherto and to 
wait further orders, and the minor officials of the y aniens abolished 
will either be appointed to other yamens or to the provinces ; 
concerning which the Board of Civil Appointments will send 
in their report to receive further Imperial sanction. 


In reforming the administrative system the Princes and 
High Commissioners concerned have presented the new system 
for metropolitan offices, and we have already issued a decree 
for the same to be carried out. However, the new administrative 
systems of provinces are now in course of compilation. But 
at present the civil administration is not properly carried out, 
by which many difficulties are encountered. The depart- 
mental and district magistrates are the officials who should 
always be in touch with the people, but there are many who 
do not keep in touch with the people, giving no attention to 


the need of the people, and their staffs often indulge in profiting 
themselves. As such is the case it is no wonder that the ad- 
ministration is out of order and the people have no place to 
state their grievances, a fact which is really deplorable. Now, 
in reforming the administrative system the offices of the depart- 
ment and district magistrate are very important. To improve 
the capacity and status of the nation the present condition of 
the people is not satisfactory for carrying out self-government, 
and it is necessary to prepare them for self-government before 
effecting the same. Therefore we hereby order the Viceroys 
and the Governors of provinces concerned to state their views 
regarding the best way to improve the civil administration, to 
prepare for self-administration, and to check any abuses now 
prevailing, and also to have the grievances of the people properly 
heard and to erase the same, as we wish to get the best system 
and to adopt it. 

The Government establishes officials simply to have the 
people properly looked after by educating them and giving them 
the enjoyment of life and carrying on their respective businesses. 
If such hope be fulfilled, then there will be harmony and peace 
among the people, and thus the Empire may have a proper 
system of looking after its own people. 

These decrees are issued by the Emperor on the instructions 
of the Empress Dowager. 

A subsequent edict regulates the relative position of the 
Ministries as follows : — 

The order of the yamens is as under : 

i. — Waiwu Pu (Board of Foreign Affairs). 

2. — Board of Civil Appointments. 

3. — Board of Civil Administration. 

4. — Board of Finance. 

5. — Board of Rites. 

6. — Board of Army. 

7. — Board of Justice. 

8. — Board of Agriculture, Works, and Commerce. 

9. — Board of Colonies. 
10. — Imperial Household. 
II. — Imperial Board of Astronomy. 
12. — Hanlin Yuan. 
13. — Censorate. 
14. — Imperial Clan Court. 
15. — Board of Education. 
16. — Imperial Equipage Department. 
17. — Court of Cassation. 
18. — Board of Communications. 


A few typical instances are given below, showing the nature 
of the cases which come before the foreign Courts in China, and 
the way they are dealt with. 


Shanghai, May 21, 1906 

Before Sir Havilland de Sausmarez, Judge 

A. Pavlow v. Baron Ward 

This was an adjourned rehearing with regard to the de- 
fendant's set-off of Tls. 40,000. 

Mr. L. E. P. Jones appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. A. S. P. 
White-Cooper for the defendant. 

Mr. Jones said that at the last hearing the Court had asked 
him for an assurance that there was another Court in Shanghai 
which was competent to deal with Baron Ward's claim against 
Mr. Pavlow in the event of this Court dismissing it ; and on 
the strength of the correspondence which he had filed counsel 
was now able to give the assurance that the Russian Consular 
Court had the necessary jurisdiction in the case. 

Mr. White-Cooper said he had not yet any evidence available, 
and asked for the hearing to be adjourned till June 15. The 
Tls. 40,000 had been retained by Mr. Kristensen ; it had never 
been in the hands of Baron Ward. 

His Lordship said the state of the case was that there would 
have to be some issue determining the amount to be set off. 
It had been held that the plaintiff was entitled to set off some- 
thing, but the amount had not been ascertained. A new trial 
was to be had as to the propriety of the sum of Tls. 40,000. 
At the trial before the full Court the Assistant Judge said : "I 
therefore agree there ought to be a new trial as to this issue, 
which I would frame somewhat as follows : ' What is the 
proper sum to be set off in respect of the Edendale transaction ? ' " 
Then, his Lordship supposed, the order was drawn up. 

Mr. Jones said that the defendant had had ample oppor- 
tunity afforded him of coming to the Court and proving his 



claim. He had failed to do that, and counsel applied that that 
claim be dismissed, that the order be amended accordingly, 
and Baron Ward be now left to take such steps as he thought 
fit against Mr. Pavlow in the Russian Court. 

His Lordship said he had considered the matter very care- 
fully, and what he would do would be this : grant an adjourn- 
ment until June 15 and fix that date peremptorily so that, 
in the event of the defendant not appearing to substantiate 
his defence, he would immediately fail, and the judgment, 
as modified by the order of November 16, 1905, and the order 
of the Full Court, would stand. As regarded this particular 
claim something had been said by Mr. Jones as to its nature. 
His Lordship had looked very carefully through the record 
of the case and also the report, and had been unable to find 
that it had been seriously argued at any time that this was 
a counter-claim and not a set-off. At the same time, looking at 
the Order in Council, Article 151(3), "Cross-action. — A counter- 
claim shall not be brought in the Court against a plaintiff being 
a foreigner," his Lordship felt clearly, from what had occurred, 
that the plaintiff in this case did not consent to a counter-claim 
being brought against him in that Court ; and it was perfectly 
evident to his Lordship's mind, on the terms of the Order, that 
if he did adjudicate on a counter-claim which was not properly 
before the Court, the Court would be exercising jurisdiction 
which it did not possess, and therefore any judgment which 
might be passed in the matter would be necessarily void, or could 
be attacked and easily upset. He thought therefore that if it 
was made to appear to him, either at once or on June 15, 
that this was a counter-claim and not a set-off, then he ought not 
to exercise jurisdiction. If, however, it should prove to be a 
set-off on argument, then it seemed to him that would sub- 
stantiate the defence, and the Order in Council did not modify 
the right in any way to raise such a defence as a set-off. In 
this particular case, the proceedings had gone on so long and had 
so nearly reached an end, and the findings of the jury were very 
explicit now that they had been dealt with in the judgment of 
the Full Court, that he thought clearly he ought to entertain 
this set-off if it proved to be a set-off and not a counter-claim. 
Therefore he would grant an adjournment until June 15, 
and the case would be set down peremptorily for that date ; 
but in the meantime, or at the trial, if plaintiff's counsel chose 
to move that this Court did not entertain this claim on the ground 
that it had no jurisdiction to do so, he would entertain the motion. 
He had felt it necessary to say this about the counter-claim and 
the set-off because he did not want it to be thought that he was 
assuming jurisdiction which ought properly to be exercised 


by the Russian Consular Court, but he felt that he was bound 
by the statute ; if he was wrong, of course there was occasion 
for an appeal, and if the Russian authorities were not satisfied 
with the judgment, of course, after it had been reviewed by the 
Privy Council, they could move for a new Order in Council. 
The Court then rose. 

Shanghai, May 3, 1906 

Before Sir Havilland de Sausmarez, Judge 

Joseph John Gilmore v. Henry Bennertz 

The hearing of this case was concluded. Mr. W. N. Symonds 
appeared for the plaintiff and Mr. Loftus E. P. Jones for the 

Mr. Jones said the only other evidence which he would like 
to put before the Court was a copy of the judgment which was 
given in the case against Mr. Bennertz in which Tsau was plaintiff. 
The case was heard before the Consular Court at Changsha. 
Counsel also had a copy of the claim made by Mr. Bennertz 
upon which this Tls.5,200 was paid ; also a letter from Mr. 
Frazer, British Consul-General at Hankow, with regard to that 

Defendant was recalled. Witness put in a claim for an 
indemnity, and the document produced was a despatch he re- 
ceived from Mr. Frazer in ■ relation to the matter. (Counsel 
read the despatch to show that there were no profits contemplated 
in this indemnity ; it was solely made up of Tls.400 a month 
compensation.) Witness said at the time Mr. Gilmore left 
Changsha for Hankow the liabilities of the business exceeded 
Tls.5,200 ; and at the time the indemnity was received the 
liabilities exceeded Tls.5,200. 

Mr. Symonds put in a letter written by Mr. Woo to Mr. 
Gilmore dated April 20, 1906, in which he said the matter 
was settled between Bennertz and Gilmore before the latter 
left for Hankow. Woo proceeded to relate the understanding 
which he said was come to. 

Witness, in reply to Mr. Symonds, said he was not satisfied 
with an indemnity of Tls.5,200. The Tls.25,000 was not the 
rest of the indemnity. 

Mr. Symonds produced a statement in Mr. Giles's handwriting 
of the payments witness had made out of the Tls.25,000 up to 
February 15, 1906. Counsel pointed out that according to 
this statement there was a balance of nearly Tls. 1,700. What 
had witness done with that ? 



Defendant said the Tls. 1,700 had been spent in meeting 
expenses of liquidation of Chinese debts in Changsha. There 
was still a small balance which he had been using to pay his 
expenses in Shanghai since March. 

Mr. Jones and Mr. Symonds then briefly addressed his Lord- 
ship on the case. 


His Lordship proceeded to deliver judgment as follows : — 
The dispute in this case has arisen out of an enterprise under- 
taken by the parties on the opening of the port — I call it a port 
so as not to use a compromising word with regard to the city, 
or fu, or whatever it might have been — of Changsha, for foreign 
trade. Up to this time, or immediately preceding this time, 
the parties were carrying on business at Hankow. The plaintiff 
thought there might be an opening and he went up to Changsha 
to look about him, and in consequence of his negotiations there 
he thought an opportunity occurred of starting a business, and 
he in consequence communicated with the firm of Bennertz & 
Esternau, with whom he appears to have been in communication, 
in Hankow. The details of what happened do not seem to me to 
very much affect the matter, but the result of it all was that 
the plaintiff remained in Changsha and the defendant came up, 
and they did in fact start business. But previous to that certain 
negotiations were entered into and a company was sketched. I 
think that is about all that happened as regards that company. 
It was sketched out, and certain steps no doubt were taken to fill 
in the details of the sketch, but I do not think they ever amounted 
to enough to give that company any real consistency. The 
consequence is that where I find a reference to the action of the 
company in Changsha I look upon it as simply indicating the 
business to be carried on by these people in the company, and 
who were realities, and who continued to be connected with the 
trade name. There were certain Chinese, but they one after 
another fell out, and in the end the two parties to this action 
were the only two people who can be described as people having 
anything to do with this company, and they do appear to have 
carried on business under the name of Bennertz & Co. and the 
Chinese hong name of Yu Hung-tih. That is the name which 
continued throughout, and it appears to exist still. Difficulties 
arose, and I do not see that it makes any difference to the present 
action as to whether these difficulties arose through the nature of 
things or from personal objection to the defendant on the part 
of the Chinese, as suggested by the plaintiff. From whatever 


source they did arise, the business did not flourish, and after 
about a year things were so bad that the plaintiff left Changsha 
because he thought it was useless to go on, and he returned to 
Hankow. A claim was later made for the intervention of the 
British authorities in Peking, and they did intervene, with the 
result that payment of Tls.5,200 was made. I think it is quite 
clear from Mr. Frazer's letter, which was put in, how that sum 
was arrived at and the purpose for which it was paid. It was 
to be, shortly, for compensation for disturbance ; and the person 
who had approached the British authorities was the defendant 
in this action, and, therefore, naturally it was to him that the 
communications of the British Consul-General at Hankow were 
addressed. The terms of the communications between the 
British Consul and Mr. Bennertz would, of course, in no way 
affect any liability which Mr. Bennertz was under to third parties 
— that is to say, parties other than himself and the British Govern- 
ment — in the distribution of this sum. That appears to be the 
way the Tls.5,200 was paid. As regards the various sums 
which were from time to time expended in this business, I am 
unable to find that there was any capital found by either of the 
parties ; I think they each managed to scrape along as best they 
could in Changsha, paying their own expenses and hoping things 
would improve. Unfortunately they did not. Then comes the 
29th of June, when there was an interview ; when the plaintiff 
decided that, as he had something definite to go to at Hankow and 
nothing definite to remain for at Changsha, he had better go to 
Hankow. On the evidence before me I have come to the conclu- 
sion that these two parties did do business in partnership from the 
date of this contract, namely July 4, 1904, down to June 29, 1905, 
and that on that date the partnership was dissolved by mutual 
consent. I will finish the story first, before I come to the terms 
of that partnership. I think that after that the business was 
carried on by Mr. Bennertz alone. He came down to Shanghai 
to see what he could do ; the whole of the responsibility was 
upon him ; he was the only person looked to by the Chinese 
authorities in Changsha ; and the plaintiff does not appear to 
have taken any steps with respect to the business, and except 
with regard to a loan on one occasion — which amounted to very 
little — he does not appear to have done anything with reference 
to this partnership or the affairs of the defendant. Unfortunately 
things did not improve. Mr. Bennertz did not seem to get on 
any better with the Chinese than before, and Changsha seems to 
have opened its doors to foreign trade in an extremely reluctant 
manner. The end of it was that Mr. Bennertz appeared at 
Changsha with a considerable amount of goods which he had 
been able to secure in Shanghai, and things had to be finally 


settled up. The result was that an agreement came to be made 
between Mr. Bennertz and the Chinese in which the sum of 
Tls.25,000 was paid for the stock-in-trade which he had there, 
and various other things which are enumerated in this agreement, 
and he was to clear out — all connection between him and Changsha 
was to cease. I consider this agreement was made personally 
between the Chinese and Mr. Bennertz — not Bennertz & Co., 
but Mr. Bennertz himself and the parties in Changsha who paid 
him the Tls.25,000. I need not go into the different terms of 
this agreement, but I think what I have already stated, and the 
document itself, will enable any one who comes to take the 
accounts to see how the money should be applied. I think there 
is only one other thing. I think that the Tls.25,000 was intended 
to cover not only the debts which Mr. Bennertz himself had 
contracted in Changsha, both before and after the time that 
this partnership was dissolved, but I think it also was intended 
to clear up any debts which had been contracted, and which 
might still be outstanding to the partnership while it existed. 
Therefore, assuming for the moment that the Tls.25,000 was 
more than enough to cover all claims, then I think the Tls.25,000 
should be applied in wiping them all out, and any balance of 
the Tls.25,000 would have to be considered as belonging to 
Mr. Bennertz, subject to any contracts which he might have 
with other parties. The Tls.5,200 stand in a different position. 
Assuming, as I say, that the Tls.25,000 was sufficient, that 
Tls.5,200 definite compensation would remain to be divided 
between the two parties. 

Now as to the terms of the contract. They appear to me 
to be embodied in this agreement of July 4, 1904, in so far as 
they were at that time put into force. Mr. Gilmore was so far 
as was possible made a partner in the firm of Bennertz & Co. As 
a matter of fact, that firm never having come seriously into 
existence, the fact that he was made a partner in it did not give 
him any claim, because Bennertz & Co. having no property, 
there was nothing for him to have a claim to. But the partners 
— the plaintiff and the defendant — did carry on business under 
the form of Bennertz & Co., and, from all the documents before 
me, there is no doubt they were carrying on business in partner- 
ship. There is, or there might be, in consequence of this sum 
for disturbance, something to be divided, and it will be divided 
on the terms on which the partners agreed to trade. We have 
the definite statement here that of whatever profit Henry 
Bennertz touched, he should pay 25 per cent, to the plaintiff. 
There is the suggestion that an agreement was come to on 
June 29 that the sum of one-third instead of one-quarter should 
be paid to Mr. Gilmore out of this sum paid as indemnity, but 


there appeared to be the stipulation that Tls.3,500 should first 
be paid to the Chinese. There are various other matters which 
certainly are somewhat complicated, and which I should expect 
to find reduced to writing. We have the version of it given by 
the plaintiff, which no doubt represents his own view, and there 
is on the other hand a denial of it by the defendant, and I cannot 
come, on the evidence before me, to the conclusion that the 
original agreement of one-quarter of the profits was varied by 
anything that took place on that occasion. It will have to be 
ascertained what accounts come under this exhibit " Q " — the 
deed of January 30, this year, by which the Tls.25,000 was paid. 
I think this includes all debts due by the partnership, as well as 
by the defendant, to the people who are enumerated in this 
deed. There are, for instance, the Chinese in Changsha, and the 
firms in Shanghai, and there are certain others. I will take 
for instance the sum of Tls.64, which is a small sum due to 
Messrs. Hall & Holtz in Hankow, and this probably would not 
come under that. I give that as an example, but I do not 
decide that. This is a point which I shall have to take in 
Chambers, or must be considered by whoever takes the account. 
I mention that as it is a small sum and it does not matter much 
whichever way it goes. If the Tls.25,000 is not sufficient, then 
it will have to be divided, the various sums will have to be 
paid, so far as I can see, pro rata, and if after that there are 
partnership debts — debts between July 4, 1904 and June 29, 
1905 — then, of course, these will have to be liquidated out of 
the Tls.5,200. I think if there is any balance on the Tls.25,000 
—I do not think there is the least likelihood that there will 
be — then the matter will have to be referred to me again as to 
its division. It is not quite clear now, and I should like to hear 
counsel more fully as to what ought to happen to any balance 
of the Tls.25,000. I think, as it was to cover everything, the 
plaintiff is entitled to a certain amount. I do not think he is 
entitled to a quarter, but I think he is entitled to any amount 
which might be assessed as sufficient and proper. I think that 
direction is sufficient. The accounts may be so reduced that 
they might come before me in Chambers, and I might be able to 
come to a decision at less expense to the parties and in a very 
short time, because I know about it ; and if it is referred to any- 
body else, there will be some question of nicety as to some of 
these sums, and they would probably have to be sent back to me 
for direction. I would like to hear counsel further especially 
in the case of Tsau's debt. I shall want to know a little more 
about that, but so far as I can see this money which has been 
expended by Mr. Bennertz in purchasing goods for the trading 
of his company will have to be paid out of this Tls.25,000. If 



it is proved that this amount for provisions is a purely personal 
debt in no way connected with the company, it ought not to be 
set off against the Tls. 25,000 ; but at the same time from what 
I can see, and in looking at the contents of the agreement and 
the way in which the business was carried on, the Tls. 25, 000 
was meant to cover Tsau's debt. Still, at the same time, I do 
not think I have anything before me which would make me say 
definitely whether it ought to be paid. I have given my direction, 
and I think that the outstanding points may be so reduced that 
I can come to a conclusion very shortly. 

Mr. Symonds, on behalf of his client, said he would be pleased 
to refer the matters of account to his Lordship. 

His Lordship — You will have to get the accounts in order 
first. In my judgment, I really say what is wanted is that Mr. 
Bennertz should show how the Tls. 25, 000 has been spent, and 
if he has gone beyond that to pay the debts of the firm, he 
will have to show that the Tls. 5, 200 has been expended on the 
remaining debts of the partnership. 

Mr. Jones asked his Lordship if he would deal with the 
question of costs at this time. 

His Lordship — I will deal with that when I deal with the 
accounts. If I find the money substantially misapplied by 
Mr. Bennertz, he will have to pay costs ; but on the other hand, 
if the inquiry was uselessly raised, it will be the other way. 

His Lordship then rose. 

Shanghai, December 3, 1906 
Before Mr. F. S. A. Bourne, Assistant Judge 


and Mining Co., Ltd. 

Mr. J. H. Teesdale appeared for the plaintiffs and Mr. A. S. P. 
White-Cooper for the defendants. Mr. Loftus E. Jones watched 
the case on behalf of the Holland China Trading Company, 
interested parties. 

Mr. Teesdale said that his Lordship was not sitting when 
counsel made his application, last Saturday week, for an injunc- 
tion restraining the defendant company from parting with the 
possession of certain cargo stored at their wharf and of the shipping 
documents relating to it. The injunction was granted, and 
counsel now merely made application for pleadings. The case 
would probably be rather complicated, and several legal points 
were likely to be involved. It was possible that evidence would 
have to be given on questions of law — not necessarily British 


Jaw — which would have to be gone into thoroughly, so that he 
applied that pleadings should be delivered in the usual way, and 
that his Lordship should fix a date on which he had to deliver his 
statement of claim. 

Mr. White-Cooper, in reply to his Lordship, said he had 
nothing to say. The defendants simply held the goods as ware- 
housemen, and if the plaintiffs set up a better title to them 
than the Holland China Trading Co., they would deliver to them. 
At present the defendants had no interest in the subject-matter 
of the goods except as warehousemen. 

His Lordship — And you, Mr. White-Cooper, have an under- 
taking that any costs you may be put to will be paid by the 
plaintiffs ? 

Mr. White-Cooper — Yes. 

His Lordship — Won't this case have to be fought out in 
another Court ? 

Mr. White-Cooper — As far as one can see, the contract would 
appear to be governed by Dutch law. 

His Lordship granted the application for pleadings, the 
statement of claim to be filed within fifteen days. 

The Court then rose. 

Shanghai, September 20, 1906 

Before Sir Havilland de Sausmarez, Judge, and Messrs. T. 
Grayson (foreman), F. W. Rawsthorne, W. E. Blades, 
T. H. W. Charnley, G. W. Noel, D. C. Kerr, G. C. Dew, 
V. H. Lanning, G. H. Rendall, W. Fleming Inglis, 
James Jones, and G. R. Barry (Jurors) 

Rex v. Peter Sydney Hyndman 

Peter Sydney Hyndman, bookkeeper, was charged that on 
September 1 feloniously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought, 
he did kill and murder Harry Smith. 

When formally charged, prisoner, in a low voice, pleaded 

" not guilty." 

* * * * * 

Addressing the prisoner his Lordship said : Peter Sydney 
Hyndman, you have been convicted of the crime of manslaughter. 
The jury have taken, I am glad to say, a lenient view of your 
conduct on this occasion. They thought that the provocation to 
which you were subjected so wrought on your emotions and your 
feelings that for the moment your will was suspended, and that 
the intent which would be presumed from your acts did not exist. 
At the same time I cannot but help feeUng that you were more 


rash in this matter than you were justified in being. The case 
of a husband who finds his wife whom he believes to be faithful 
to him in a position of that kind is one which might excuse him 
almost from receiving any punishment at all for taking such 
sudden and violent vengeance on the man. I cannot feel that 
you are in that position, and, though I do not consider your 
crime one of great enormity, I must pass upon youasentence which 
will let the community know that the foolish and reckless carrying 
of firearms is not to be encouraged, and that when a man does 
put himself in the position in which you put yourself, he must 
take the consequences of his own acts. I sentence you to be 
kept in prison for eighteen calendar months with hard labour. 


Shanghai, December 4, 1906 

Before Mr. G. W. King, Police Magistrate 

Assault by a Sikh Constable 

How to Evade an Agreement 

Dungah Singh, Indian P.C. 199, was charged with assaulting 
and beating one Chang Ah-cum at No. 216, Fearon Road, at 5.15 
p.m. on December 2. 

Inspector Bourke prosecuted, and intimated to the Court 

that the accused was on duty at the time the assault took place. 

His Worship (addressing accused) said : I consider the 
evidence given by the prosecution to be true ; that you did do 
what you are said to have done. In an ordinary case, perhaps, 
it would be meet to give you a fine only, because the assault is not 
a grave one. I cannot overlook the fact that at the time you 
were on duty, and from the fact that you were on duty and that 
you did what you are accused of having done, I believe you 
had ulterior motives ; that your desire was to get out of the 
Police Force. The evidence of the Jemadar seems to point to 
that too, and you yourself have made no effort to contradict 
his evidence. I have taken into consideration your past record, 
both as you claim to have been in the Cavalry and also in the 
Police, more especially in the Police. There has been no previous 
conviction against you, but in spite of that I must send you to 
prison. You were a policeman on duty in uniform, and you 
have disgraced your uniform ; you are put there to keep order, 
and you go and make disorder. You might attain your object 


of getting out of the Police — of course that does not lie with 
me — but you will first have to go to prison for one month with 
hard labour. 


Hangchow, March 15, 1906 

Before Frederick D. Cloud, Esq., American Vice-Consul-in- 
charge, Acting Judicially, and J. H. Judson, Esq., and 
J. Steinacher, Esq., Associates. 

In the matter of Sun Zai-ling, Yee Tsung-lien, Sun Yu-ling, 
and Chow Ding-ho, Plaintiffs, v. The Southern Methodist 
Mission, and Thomas A. Hearn, and Edward Pilley, 


In this action A. S. P. White-Cooper, Esq., appeared for the 
plaintiffs, and F. M. Brooks, Esq., of the law firm of Andrews & 
Brooks, represented the defendants. 


This is an action brought by certain Chinese citizens against 
the Southern Methodist Mission, an American institution, repre- 
sented by Thomas A. Hearn and Edward Pilley, of Huchow, to 
recover certain alleged temple lands which have been purchased by, 
and are now in the possession of the Southern Methodist Mission, 
in which the plaintiffs allege that the said mission is in wrongful 
possession of the said temple lands ; that as a result of repeated 
protests against such possession by the plaintiffs, the defendant 
mission, or certain representatives of the defendant mission, 
entered into an agreement of compromise with the plaintiffs 
whereby, and according to the terms of which, certain lands 
were to be restored to plaintiffs on condition of, and in con- 
sideration of the said plaintiffs paying to the defendants the 
sum of Tls.2,000 ; that the plaintiffs have duly paid to the 
defendants the said consideration of Tls.2,000, which sum of 
money is still in the possession of, or under the control of the 
defendants, but that the said defendants have illegally, wrong- 
fully, and in breach of the terms of the agreement, refused tc 
abide by and carry out its terms and surrender the land agreed 
therein to be surrendered to the plaintiffs ; that by reason of 
the defendants' wrongful breach of this agreement, and by 
reason of the defendants' wrongful trespass on the said land, 
the plaintiffs have suffered damages through (1) the defendants' 


wrongful actions above mentioned ; (2) the deprivation of the 
said temple lands and trespass thereon ; (3) and the loss of 
Tls. 2,000 ; and that the defendants had notice and well knew 
that the land in question belonged to the temple and could not 
lawfully be purchased by defendants. 

Wherefore, it was the plaintiffs' prayer that the defendants be 
required to carry out the terms of the said compromise agree- 
ment, or that the defendants be ordered to forthwith vacate 
and give immediate possession of the land wrongfully inclosed ; 
that the defendants be ordered to pull down, forthwith, any 
buildings erected on the said land and to restore the land to its 
condition prior to such wrongful trespass ; that the defendants 
be ordered to pay the sum of Tls. 1,000 as damage for such 
trespass, and in addition to return the sum of Tls. 2, 000 paid 
the defendants by the plaintiffs, and that defendants be ordered 
to pay the costs of this action. 

In answer the defendants have admitted that the plaintiffs 
are Chinese subjects, but have specifically denied each and every 
other allegation of the plaintiffs. And answering further, the 
defendants allege that all of the land possessed and inclosed by 
the Southern Methodist Mission at Huchow was procured legally, 
and according to treaty rights between America and China ; 
that the plaintiffs well knew, while the defendants were acquiring 
the said land, of the facts, and purposes for which it was sought ; 
that the plaintiffs well knew of the purchase of said land, and 
of the improvements in progress on the same from time to time, 
but that the plaintiffs did not make any protest against such 
improvements while they were in progress ; that the alleged 
agreement referred to by the plaintiffs was never signed by the 
defendants but by parties who never had the right, nor the 
authority, directly or indirectly, either in fact or in law, to bind 
the defendants, and that when said agreement was presented 
to the defendants herein for their signatures, said defendants 
immediately repudiated the same and refused to sign it ; that 
the sum of Tls. 1,000 or Tls. 2, 000 or any other sum of money 
had never been paid to them by the plaintiffs, or by any one 
else, but that certain Chinese officials had paid into the American 
Consulate certain moneys which were still subject to the order 
of the said officials ; and further, that the plaintiffs in this action 
well knew that defendants had legally acquired this land, and 
stood by, well knowing that defendants were improving the 
said land, and having made no protest during that time, were 
now bringing this action for the purpose of harassing and inter- 
fering with the work carried on by defendants to their damage 
in the sum of Tls. 5,000. 

Wherefore, it was the defendants' prayer that this action 


be dismissed with costs, and that defendants may recover 
damages against the plaintiffs in the sum of Tls.5,000. 

The facts in this case, as established in Court, are quite clear. 
In the spring of 1902 the Southern Methodist Mission, through 
its representatives, the defendants in this action, made known 
to the proper local officials of Huchow their desire to purchase 
land within the city of Huchow for mission purposes. These 
representatives desired to purchase land in a certain portion of 
the city and made their desire known to the aforesaid officials. 
These officials, the Prefect and Magistrate, expressed the wish 
that the defendants select another tract of land, stating that the 
tract they had chosen was wanted by the officials and gentry 
of Huchow on which to build native schools. The said officials 
then pointed out a section of the city known as Hai Tao, as being 
largely unoccupied land, where the defendants were at liberty 
to acquire as much land as might be needed for the mission. 
The Prefect went so far as to delegate certain gentry to assist 
the mission in obtaining the land from the several owners, and 
in perfecting the titles thereto. Proclamations were issued by 
the Magistrate having jurisdiction over the land, announcing the 
fact that the mission wanted to purchase the land, and calling 
upon the owners thereof to come forward and negotiate with 
the defendants for the sale of their various tracts. Eventually 
a considerable tract of " waste land " was found which had no 
owners. The Magistrate was informed of the fact, who issued a 
proclamation stating that the mission desired to acquire this 
" waste land," and if there were any owners thereof they should 
come forward. And although these proclamations were posted 
for a period of two months, yet no one came forward as owners 
of the land, nor could any such owners be found. Thereupon 
the defendants purchased the land from the Magistrate himself. 
There was perfect satisfaction on all sides relative to this 
transaction, nor have the plaintiffs attempted to show that the 
Magistrate exceeded his authority in thus disposing of " waste 
lands," or that any one objected to his doing so. The Magistrate 
gave defendants a proper receipt for the consideration of the 
transaction, and published the facts relating to the sale to the 
people of Huchow by means of a special proclamation. 

The defendants having obtained all the land desired for 
mission purposes, sent their title-deeds to the yamen to be 
registered and stamped. The deeds remained in the yamen 
some five months, when they were returned to the defendants, 
having been properly registered and stamped. These various 
transactions also received the written approval of the various 
authorities concerned, including the Provincial Governor. 

The acquisition of all this land by the defendants was not 


accomplished without long delays — something over a year's 
time being required for its completion. The negotiations were 
carried on openly, and the people of Huchow were made ac- 
quainted with the fact that the defendants were buying the 
land, through the medium of the Magistrate's proclamations ; 
this, the plaintiffs have not disputed. Nor does the evidence 
show that the people, or the gentry of Huchow, made or offered 
any protest against the acquisition of this land by the mission 
until after all the negotiations had been completed and the 
land so purchased had been inclosed by the defendants within 
a wall. Nor is there any evidence to show that in the acquisition 
of this land the defendants deviated, in the least, either from 
the letter or the spirit of the provisions of the treaty between 
the United States of America and China governing such matters. 

As to the allegation of the plaintiffs that a portion or portions 
of the aforesaid land is Confucian temple land, the Court must 
hold that it is incumbent upon the said plaintiffs to show, by a 
preponderance of evidence, that such is the case ; but this the 
plaintiffs have failed to do. . 

The fact that the ruins of what the plaintiffs allege to be those 
of an ancient Confucian Library are characterised by numerous 
carvings of the Lotus flower, which is a characteristic emblem 
of Buddhism and of Buddhistic ornamentation ; that the said 
ruins, or foundation stones, are situated a considerable distance 
away, and in another ward, or division of the city, from the 
group of buildings recognised, and confirmed by the officially 
written topographies of Huchow, as constituting the Confucian 
temple property ; that the defendants have produced docu- 
mentary and other evidence showing that the real site of the 
ancient Confucian Library (the Tsen Ching-ko) is not situated 
on any land now enclosed by, or in possession of the mission, 
but is entirely outside of, and is a considerable distance away 
from the property of the said mission, is sufficient evidence to 
convince the Court that the said Confucian Library site (Tsen 
Ching-ko) is not situated on the defendants' premises, and that 
none of the land now held by the defendants is Confucian temple 

The plaintiffs have endeavored to force upon the defendants 
the terms of an agreement of compromise, which agreement had 
been signed by certain representatives of the Southern Methodist 
Mission, whereby a portion of the mission's land was to be 
turned out of the defendants' enclosure. The facts are that one 
member of a committee of three members, appointed by the 
mission to deal with this matter, two of whom are the defendants 
in this action, signed this said agreement as indicating to the 
other two members his opinion of the case, and not in any manner 


as trying to bind the other two members to the agreement. 
However, when this agreement was presented to the defendants 
who were named therein as parties to the agreement, they 
refused to sign it, or to carry out its terms ; and it has been 
shown by evidence that to do so would be grievously injurious 
to the plans and future work of the mission. And since the 
provincial officials have offered, upon their own motion, written 
testimony to the fact that the Tls. 1,000 named as the considera- 
tion of this agreement, and that the Tls. 1,000 presented to the 
mission for charitable purposes had been provided for by them- 
selves, and does not, nor ever did in any manner belong to the 
plaintiffs, and the further fact that the defendants have never 
accepted or been in possession of this money, it is evident that 
plaintiffs are not entitled to bring action against the defendants 
for its recovery. 

According to solemn compacts between China and the United 
States of America, the Southern Methodist Mission, as well as 
all other American missionary societies, have the right to pur- 
chase, or lease land in perpetuity, at Huchow, as well as at all 
other places within the Chinese Empire. And when they have 
obtained their land, and secured properly executed title-deeds, 
they are entitled to enjoy full and complete possession of all 
such land without annoyance or molestation of any nature. 

The petition of the plaintiffs is hereby dismissed at plaintiffs' 

The defendants' prayer for damages is disallowed, as this 
Court has no jurisdiction to award damages against Chinese 
subjects, and leaves defendants to follow plaintiffs into a regularly 
constituted Chinese tribunal. 

(Signed) Frederick D. Cloud, 

American Vice-Consul-in-Charge, 

Acting Judicially. 
T. Stein acher, ) A . . 

J. H. JUDSON, } ASS0CiateS ' 


Shanghai, December 7, 1906 

Before Mr. W. P. Boyd, American Vice-Consul-General-in-Charge, 
Acting as Cuban Coroner 

A Sad Ending 

An inquest was opened at 2.30 p.m. yesterday at No. 2, 
North Honan Road, to inquire into the circumstances attending 


the death of Miss Loura Leslig, alias Cossette Denvers, a Cuban 

subject, aged thirty-two years, who died in bed at her residence, 

between the hours of 10.30 and 11.30 p.m., the 5th inst., from 

laudanum poisoning. 


The Coroner brought in a verdict that deceased came to her 
death on December 5, 1906, between the hours of 10.30 and 
11.30 p.m., by taking an overdose of laudanum, self-administered, 
with suicidal intent. 


Shanghai, December 7, 1906 

Before Mr. L. Heintze, Vice-Consul 

The Muzzling Order 

V. Blinkman, No. 72, Range Road, was charged with allowing 
his dog to be at large unmuzzled on the Range Road on the 30th 
ultimo, contrary to Municipal Regulations. 

Inspector Bourke stated the nature of the charge. 

Defendant was fined $3 or in default one day's detention. 


Shanghai, December 7, 1906 

Before Mr. D. Yamamoto, Police Magistrate 

Breaking the Rules 

One Nejita was charged with keeping a house of entertain- 
ment, to wit, a shooting gallery, at No. 513, Miller Road, without 
a license and contrary to Municipal Regulations. 

Inspector Bourke stated the nature of the offence. 

Accused was severely cautioned and ordered to close the 
place at once. 

Shanghai, December 4, 1906 

Before Mr. D. Yamamoto, Police Magistrate 

Jack Ashore 

A festive sailor from the N.Y.K. steamer Chiyoda Maru, 
named M. Yasuda, was charged with having been drunk and 


disorderly on the Broadway, and damaging property to the 
extent of 50 cents, about 10 p.m., the 3rd inst. 

Inspector Bourke related the nature of the charge. 

Tsang Zen-fah, the complainant, gave evidence of the accused 
having been drunk and doing damage to witness's goods. 

Accused was fined $3 and ordered to pay the amount of 
damage done. 


Shanghai, December 3, 1906 

Before Mr. C. Kleimenow, Consul-General 

Alleged Arson 

A. M. Silkiss was charged on a Russian Consular warrant 
with having feloniously and wilfully set fire to his premises and 
dwelling-house known as the Tivoli Hotel at Nos. 9 & 10, Boone 
Road, about 11.30 p.m., December 1, 1906, with intent to 
secure insurance money thereon, and thereby endangering life 
and property. 

Inspector Bourke appeared to prosecute. 

Extensive evidence was taken, but, the press not being 
admitted, we are not able to give a report of the proceedings. 

Shanghai, December 7, 1906 

Before Mr. C. Kleimenow, Consul-General 

Alleged Arson 

A. M. Silkiss was brought up on remand charged on a Russian 
Consular warrant with having feloniously and wilfully < et fire 
to his premises and dwelling-house known as the Tivoli Hotel, 
at Nos. 9 & 10, Boone Road, about 11.30 p.m., December 1, 
1906, with intent to secure insurance money thereon, and thereby 
endangering life and property. 

Det. Insp. McDowell prosecuted on behalf of the police. 

On the Court resuming this morning, the evidence was con- 
cluded, and his Honour disposed of the case as follows : This 
Court having no power to deal with a case of this nature, the Court 
has decided to submit the whole of the evidence, together with 
the plans of the premises in question, to the Supreme Court at 
Vladivostock. In the meantime the prisoner would be released 
on depositing the sum of Tls.8,000, including diamonds, jewel- 
lery, etc., as well as being bound over in the sum of $4,000 in 
two sureties of $2,000 each. 


Shanghai, December 12, 1906 

Before Mr. L. Brodiansky, Vice-Consul 

Who's Who ? 

Alec Alexander, No. 56, Broadway, arrested on a Russian 
Consular warrant, was charged with being a pimp, and living 
and trafficking on the proceeds of prostitution. 

Inspector McDowell appeared to prosecute on behalf of 
the police. 

Accused was examined at some length, and not being able 
to produce any papers or satisfactory evidence that he was 
a Russian subject, the Court refused to recognise him or assume 
any responsibility over him. 

The accused was next taken to H.B.M.'s Police Court, where 
he was also refused recognition. 

Accused was therefore taken back to the Station, where he 
was locked up, pending a decision as to what should be done with 
him. Later in the day accused was taken to the Mixed Court, 
where he was remanded till Friday, the 14th inst. 

Alec Alexander, No. 56, Broadway, who was arrested on a 
Russian Consular warrant a few days ago, was charged at the 
Mixed Court to-day, the court room being cleared and the case 
tried in camera, with being a pimp and living and trafficking 
on the proceeds of prostitution. Inspector McDowell appeared 
to prosecute on behalf of the police. The Inspector made a 
statement as to how the case was first brought to his notice. 
An Englishwoman, who had been decoyed out to the Far East 
by the accused by false promises, gave evidence as to how she 
came out and became an inmate of a house of ill fame. Accused 
was eventually sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment and 
to be afterwards deported from Shanghai. 


The following letter gives the attitude of the British Government 
in respect to intervention by missionaries in the interior on 
behalf of their Chinese converts. 


To the Editor of the " North China Daily News " 

Sir, — Under instructions from H.M. Minister at Peking 
I beg to hand you herewith for publication copy of a circular 
dated August 31, 1903, addressed by Sir E. Satow to H.M. 
Consular Officers in China. 

I am, etc., 

Pelham Warren, 

October 31, 1906. 


H.B.M. Legation, 
Peking, August 31, 1903. 

Sir, — -Cases have come to my notice in which missionaries 
have addressed themselves directly to Chinese officials, either 
verbally or in writing, on behalf of their Chinese converts, 
instead of acting through the proper channel, which is one of 
H.M. Consuls or the head of H.M. Legation. 

Such intervention I presume would be defended on the 
ground that some action has been taken in regard to the convert 
which is in violation of Article VIII. of the Treaty of Tientsin. 

It is necessary, however, to point out that missionaries are 
not accredited agents of the British Government for the enforce- 
ment of the Treaty, and Article VIII. was not intended to 
confer upon missionaries any right of intervention on behalf of 
native Christians. 

I do not see any objection to a missionary addressing the 
local Chinese authorities directly on any matter affecting himself 
personally, such as for instance a robbery that has been com- 
mitted at his house, or any similar private affair. 

If, however, a missionary has to complain on behalf of 

417 27 


himself that his teaching is interfered with, or that a Chinese 
preacher or convert lias been interfered with or persecuted, 
his proper course is to lay the facts before the Consul of the 
district in which he resides, who after due examination will 
make such representations to the Chinese authorities as the 
case may require. 

His Majesty's Consuls are not authorized to delegate their 
duties in this respect to missionaries. 

I have reason to know that this view is shared by the managing 
bodies of British Protestant Missionary Societies who carry on 
Mission work in China, and I understand that it is accepted and 
acted on by most of the missionary bodies in China. 

The fact that a missionary or the convert on whose behalf a 
complaint is made resides at a distance from one of H.M. Consuls 
is not sufficient reason for the missionary taking upon himself 
the duty of the Consul, and his intervention could only be justified 
when there was imminent danger of an extreme character threat- 
ening the safety of converts. 

I have accordingly to request you to act upon what is laid 
down in this Circular, and to acquaint missionaries with its 
contents whenever it seems likely to be departed from. 

I am persuaded that if missionaries uniformly refrain from 
direct intervention on behalf of native Christians, and confine 
their action to representing to H.M. Consuls cases of actual per- 
secution, such a course will redound to the preservation of peace 
between converts and non-converts, and to the spread of a genuine 
Christianity among the people of China. 

I am, etc., 

(Signed) Ernest Satow. 


Clan fights between Catholic and Protestant converts are 
common in Chekiang, not uncommon in Kwangtung, and not 
unknown in other provinces. One such fight broke out in 
November 1906 at Haimen, in Chekiang, regarding which 
an unbiassed Chinese informed me that the people of Haimen 
are notorious for piracy and turbulence, tha generally in these 
disputes both Protestants and Catholics are equally to blame, 
and that on this occasion the Catholics were the aggressors. 
The two partisan versions of the occurrence are given below. 

Rescue of Protestants 

Tai-chow Fu, Cheh, November 13, 1906. 

For the past few days we have been living in great suspense. 
The little Protestant community at Haimen, surrounded by 
hundreds of Roman Catholic robbers who were under the 
command of the native priest Nyun, was in imminent danger 
of being massacred. The foreign priests resident at Haimen 
seemed to be in entire sympathy with the native priest, and 
the Mandarins felt themselves unable to protect the Protestants. 
At the beginning of the attack on Friday the Protestant preacher 
applied to the Military Mandarin for an escort to take the Pro- 
testants to Tai-chow Fu, but the Chen-tai replied that it was 
not necessary for them to go, as he was quite able to protect 
them there. The request was then made for a few soldiers 
to come inside the Protestant compound, but this also was 

Soon the town was at the mercy of the Roman Catholic 
army, variously estimated at 800 to 2,000 strong, and the Man- 
darins became powerless to deal with them. The Tong-ling 
was unhorsed, made a prisoner, and kept in the Roman Catholic 
compound. Another military officer was beaten by one of the 
priests, and the Major General had to go in person to obtain 
their liberation. He did this by promising to behead one of 
the military officers who had been active against the robbers, 



and to pay $3,000 to the Roman Catholics for rifles taken from 
the robbers by order of the Tong-ling. Houses and shops 
belonging to Protestants were pillaged, and passengers to 
and from the boats were robbed. A Protestant inquirer was 
caught and held for ransom. He was told that if he did not 
furnish 100 jars of Chinese wine he would be killed. He 
gave them 90 jars and was allowed to escape. Some of the 
members and inquirers had narrow escapes from being shot. 
The son of an inquirer was shot through the thigh, and one 
of the robbers was accidentally shot dead by another Roman 

On Saturday evening the Mandarins sent word to the Pro- 
testants that they could not protect them, but would send an 
armed escort to take them to Tai-chow city. A fleet of five 
gunboats sailed with them from Haimen. At a point, 40 li 
from Haimen, two of the gunboats returned, leaving three boats 
to carry the refugees the remaining 80 li to Tai-chow city. 

In company with two foreign missionaries and the Mandarin 
under whose escort they had travelled, they went to visit the 
Prefect, who said that the Protestants had shown themselves 
superior to the Roman Catholics, and had acted splendidly in 
the great trouble caused by the Roman Catholics. He also said 
they must not return to Haimen until the trouble was over. 

Testimony of the Protestant member w r hose shop was pillaged 
by an armed Roman Catholic band : — 

" I was upstairs above the shop when the armed band entered 
my shop. My assistant told them I was upstairs. They called 
me, and I asked who they were. They said, ' Come down and see.' 
I looked out and saw the men armed with long pistols and big 
knives, and became alarmed. I shouted, ' I will come down at 
once/ and then ran out at the back door and hid in a neighbour's 
house. Here I remained for an hour or so, until after they had 
pillaged my shop ; then the Chen-tai passed, and I went out 
and asked him for protection. He sent seven or eight soldiers 
to escort me to the Protestant compound. Here I remained 
from Friday till Sunday morning. The Protestant compound 
was surrounded by a band led by Li Ti-song. This man struck 
the Tong-ling when he rode up to disperse the mob, upon which 
the Tong-ling proceeded to the R.C. compound, where he was 
detained to make him promise $3,000 to pay for rifles which 
had been taken from some of the Roman Catholic robbers by 
his order. The Roman Catholics also demanded execution of 
an officer who had acted under the Tong-ling's orders. The 
Tong-ling was eventually rescued by the Chen-tai. 

" On Saturday, at 5 p.m., the Chen-tai said we must leave 
Haimen, as he could not protect us here, and he would provide 


^1 escort to take us to Tai-chow city. About an hour later we 
all were escorted to gunboats, but the head-wind was so strong 
that the boats could not start, and most of us returned to 
the Protestant compound. My wife and little children went to 
hide in a neighbour's house. 

" On Sunday morning, at 10 o'clock, those of us in the Pro- 
testant compound were again escorted by the Chen-tai and his 
soldiers to three gunboats. We then sailed for the city, and were 
escorted by two other gunboats for 40 li, as it was feared that the 
Roman Catholics might follow and attack us. We all arrived 
safely at Tai-chow city on the following day — Monday." 

Testimony of a Mandarin who escorted a party of the refugee 
Protestants from Haimen to this city : — 

In reply to my questions he said he lives in Haimen. He 
estimates the number of the attacking party of Roman Catholics 
at about 1,000, but says it is very difficult to form an exact 
estimate. They came in squads, and mostly belong to the 
south of Haimen. Each squad is under a leader. The larger 
half of them have not rifles bul; carry clubs. The others have 
breech- and muzzle-loading rifles and pistols and swords. They 
were called up by the R.C. priest Nyun. Each squad has its 
own commissariat. 

"The first I heard of them was on Friday morning, No- 
vember 9, when they commenced looting Protestant nouses 
and shops. The town of Haimen was soon in terror and all 
the shops were closed. The following morning the Protestant 
church premises were surrounded by the Roman Catholics. 
The Tong-ling came along on horseback, and one of the Roman- 
ists pointed his rifle at him. This enraged the Tong-ling, who 
ordered his men to seize the rifles. Twenty or thirty rifles 
were seized and two Romanists were taken prisoners. The 
Tong-ling then rode towards the west gate, and in passing the 
premises of the R.C. church he was stopped and invited to 
enter. He did so, and the gates were at once shut and he was 
made a prisoner. Two of his men were also made prisoners. 
Word was at once carried to the Chen-tai, who came and had 
him liberated. The Roman Catholics demanded the liberation 
of their two men who were apprehended, and they were set free. 
The Government troops stationed at Haimen number 120 
regulars under the Chen-tai, and about three hundred Militia 
under the Tong-ling, but these Mandarins are afraid to harm the 
Roman Catholics because the R.C. bishop would accuse them 
to the Provincial Governor (Fu-tai) and they would lose 
their rank ' kong-ming.' " 

The Provincial Governor (Fu-tai) having wired to settle 
the combatants without violence, the military stored their 


rifles and went about unarmed. All the shooting was done by 
Romanists, who accidentally shot one of their own men. Many 
of the Roman Catholics assembled under arms are well-known 

The following is a diary showing the principal events that 
occurred in connection with the Roman Catholic attack at 

Friday, November 9. 

Hundreds of armed men, under the command of the native 
Roman Catholic priest Nyun, suddenly appeared in the streets 
of Haimen. They looted the houses and shops of Protestants. 
The owners fled to the Protestant compound. The Protestants 
asked for an escort to Tai-chow city, but the Military Mandarin 
said they would protect them in Haimen. The son of a Protestant 
inquirer was shot through the thigh. The Protestant preacher 
sent an open note by a messenger to the foreign missionaries 
here. It is as follows : " Eight hundred Roman Catholic soldiers 
armed with rifles and swords have just pillaged the houses and 
shops of Christians (names given) and are building the wall. 
The Military Mandarin is powerless to restrain them. I do 
not know about killed and wounded. We hope you will rescue 
us quickly." 

Upon the arrival of this messenger, at 5 p.m. on Friday, a 
telegram was sent to C.I.M., Shanghai, and to British Consul, 
Ningpo, as follows : " Hundreds armed Romanists attacked 
Haimen Protestants. Killed, wounded, unknown. Houses pil- 
laged. Tidal wall occupied." Foreign missionaries visited 
Prefect, and found that he already knew the situation, and that 
the District Magistrate and two Deputies from the Prefect 
were preparing to start for Haimen. It was learned that the 
Major-General (Chen-tai) at Haimen had previously warned 
the city Magistrate of a Roman Catholic plot to attack the 
Protestants on the following day — Saturday. Evidently, there- 
fore, the attack began a day sooner than the Major-General 
expected. The Protestant city pastor left for Haimen in 
company with the returning messenger. 

Saturday, 10th 

The Protestant pastor arrived at Ko-ts, three miles from 
Haimen, and was furnished with an escort of eight soldiers to 
guard him to Haimen. The escort deserted him before he 
reached Haimen, but the chair-bearers carried him safely into 
the Protestant compound. 


He learned that the Governor (Fu-tai) had ordered the 
military to disperse the Romanists without violence. The 
soldiers were therefore without arms. At 4.15 in the afternoon 
he succeeded with considerable risk in sending off a telegram, 
which we received in this city about 5 o'clock. It is as follows : 
" This morning the robbers surrounded the Protestant compound 
twice. Chen-tai is unable to restrain them." At 5.30 a tele- 
gram was sent to British Consul, Ningpo, as follows : — " Haimen 
telegram says premises still surrounded. Mandarins powerless." 
At 8 p.m. received a telegram from British Consul, Ningpo — 
" You are on no account to take part in lawless violence. Do 
your best to restrain your converts. Similar message is being 
sent to priest by bishop." Meantime events were thickening 
at Haimen. 

Immediately after the telegram was dispatched at 4.15 the 
Romanists started a desultory fire, and the General commanding 
the Militia (Tong-ling) rode along to stop them. A robber 
pointed his rifle at the Tong-ling, who with his men were unarmed. 
The Tong-ling ordered one of his officers to seize the rifles and 
swords of this squad. Twenty-seven rifles and swords were seized. 
The robber chief, Li Ti-song, retaliated by bringing up more men 
and seizing five of the Tong-ling's men. The Tong-ling rode off 
in the direction of the Roman Catholic compound to complain to 
Priest Nyun, the Commander in Chief of the Roman Catholic 
forces. Nyun got him inside the Roman Catholic premises, 
made him prisoner, demanded $3,000 for the rifles and swords his 
men had captured, and the execution of the military officer who 
had captured them. The Romanists accidentally shot one of 
their own men dead. 

About 5 p.m. the Chen-tai went to the Protestant compound 
and said he could not guarantee protection any longer, but 
would furnish an escort to take all the Protestants to Tai-chow 
city. He then went to the R.C. compound and secured the 
liberation of the Tong-ling. 

About 6.30 p.m., under a military escort, the Protestants were 
taken to gunboats, but a tempest was blowing and the boats 
could not start. Some of the refugees remained on the boats, 
women and little children hid in neighbours' houses, and most 
of the men returned to the Protestant compound for the night. 

Sunday, nth 

At 10 a.m. the Protestant refugees were escorted by the 
Chen-tai and soldiers to the three gunboats, which sailed for 
Tai-chow city, 40 miles distant. Other two gunboats were 
sent as an additional escort for 10 miles, as it was feared^that the 


robbers might follow in boats. When half-way to Tai-chow city, 
a party of Roman Catholics were sighted, but no attack was 

5 p.m. People arriving at the city by steam launch from 
Haimen reported passing Protestant refugees in three gunboats 
about fifteen miles below the city. 

Monday, 1.2th 

9 a.m. First party of refugees arrived safely. Praise God. 
They report that others are on the way and that the Protestant 
community of Haimen will probably all be here about noon 
to-day, as they all sailed together on Sunday morning from 
Haimen . 

Telegram from British Consul, dated Ningpo, Monday, 10 a.m. : 
" Catholics state that they have dispersed out Protestants still 
assembled together with aggressive intentions. Is this true ? " 
A reply was sent to the British Consul from Tai-chow Fu at 
11 o'clock as follows : " Protestant community officially sent 
here under escort. Left Haimen Sunday morning. Unable to 
protect there. Premises in charge of Chen-tai." 

Last of the three gunboat parties arrived about noon. We 
are informed that a body of Romanists left this city in answer 
to a telegram from Haimen on Saturday night to attack refugees 
en route. They had lacked courage at sight of the gunboats. 
The Romanists say they must have the life of the Protestant 

2 p.m. All the refugees except the women and children 
visited the Prefect, who said they had shown themselves superior 
to the Roman Catholics, and that they must stay here till he saw 
it safe for them to return to their homes. 

8 p.m. An inquirer arrived from Haimen said the R.C.'s had 
caught him, and demanded 100 jars of wine as ransom for his 
life. He managed to get 90 jars of wine for them, and they 
allowed him to escape. He says a large force of armed men 
from the north bank of the river was crossing to join the Roman 
Catholic army to-day. 

Thursday, 13th 

8.30 a.m. A Thanksgiving Service to God for the escape of 
the refugees was held in the China Inland Mission Chapel. Psalms 
37 and 124 were read, and prayer was offered for the persecuting 
Roman Catholics. 

At Haimen the Roman Catholics are searching for those 
who have shown sympathy with the Protestants. Many have 
fled from the town, others are in hiding, and business is paralysed. 


One man was caught and taken to the R.C. premises to be 
tortured. The Mandarin succeeded in getting him liberated. 
Attempts were then made to catch his son, who escaped and 
fled to this city, arriving here by steam launch with District 
Magistrate and Tong-ling at six o'clock. He says some of the 
armed bands have dispersed, others have come, and they reside 
principally in the R.C. compound. 

The Roman Catholic army is composed of bands of men, 
each under a leader, and each band has a distinctive badge. 
The Commander in Chief is the native Roman Catholic priest, 
Nyun, and the principal leaders are : (Eleven names given). 

Several of these are well-known robber chiefs ; at least two 
of them are only recently liberated from prison. 


After the disturbance over the chestnuts, in which the Pro- 
testants summoned the brigands in order to pillage a Catholic's 
house and deliver from jail by force of arms a criminal arrested 
by the Magistrate, the parties interested were extremely excited. 
It had only need of another incident to cause an explosion, and 
the Protestants were soon to furnish it. 

At Haimen the Catholic Mission owns a piece of land on 
the river front which surrounds the Protestant church. Houses 
are being built there for the support of our charitable institutes. 
One of these houses being built behind the Protestant church, it 
was now necessary to build a wall around it as it was to serve 
as a warehouse. In order to avoid all occasion of fresh discord 
the wall was to be built four feet from the church, but when the 
masons came to commence the work they were stopped by the 
Protestant church master, Ko Siao-tsen, and his band, who, ready 
to fight, claimed the property as theirs. 

Instead of resisting violence by violence we preferred to bring 
the case before the local authorities. Civil and Military Mandarins 
were immediately appointed by the Prefect of Tai-tcheou-fou, 
Mr. Tchang, to examine the case. Their first act was to demand 
the titles of ownership from the Protestants. Now, the latter 
have none to give, no, not even for their church, which stands 
on a site formerly used as a place of capital punishment, and was 
partly occupied by them, partly given to them by a famous 
brigand named Tchang. They answered, however, first saying 
that the deeds were at Ningpo ; the second time they said they 
were at Shanghai ; and the third time they showed a false paper 
which they had manufactured after taking the measurement of 
their church's land. 


The Mandarins afterwards examined the titles of ownership 
in the possession of the Catholic Mission, which are incontestable, 
and all were unanimous in acknowledging our rights, adding that 
we could build the wall. This decision being given, the workmen 
returned on November 9 to continue work on the wall ; but 
Ko Siao-tsen, the Protestant master, the evening before, had 
already assembled eighty armed men in the church for the purpose 
of opposing the work. They rushed at the workmen and 
threatened to shoot them if they would not quit. The workmen 

It was market day ; the news soon spread to the outskirts 
of Haimen, and a great number of Catholics assembled, being 
exasperated by the incessant provocations of Protestants and by 
former insult and injustice. 

The next day, Saturday, November 10, the workmen 
returned to their labor with a guard of Christians to defend 
them. Two hours after the Mandarins asked that the work be 
stopped, promising to settle the question immediately. About 
four o'clock that evening a delegate paid our missionaries a visit 
and offered the following conditions of peace : — 

1. That the Protestant master Ko would be sent away from 
Haimen and forbidden to return. 

2. The wall would be built the next day and the lines drawn 
without any change. 

3. If Protestants thereafter wished to take revenge, the 
delegate and Colonel Tsao would take upon themselves the 
responsibility and would answer for all. 

The missionaries accepted these conditions and immediately 
ordered the Christians to disperse. The latter were still in the 
port in the act of eating when they perceived two vessels coming 
towards them from the other side of the river. They were full of 
pirates and armed Protestants, who as soon as they landed opened 
fire on the Christians. The latter were obliged to defend them- 
selves, and put to flight their assailants. Then there took place 
a deplorable encounter between the Christians and Colonel Tsao's 
soldiers, caused by the bad will of an under-leader commonly 
called Siao Lao-yi. He was formerly a pirate, who, having 
made his submission, is now in command of some soldiers who 
themselves are more or less second-hand pirates. He had been sent 
to the port with fifty soldiers to separate the combatants. When 
he saw his former companions of brigandage fleeing, he ordered 
his men to charge the Christians and disarm them, and he himself 
frred. Ten were wounded, of whom one died. 

Shortly after this bloody fight Colonel Tsao paid the mission- 
aries a visit, saying that if/any had been killed, the guilty parties 
would be executed ; if depredation had taken place, the damages 


would be compensated. General Ou was present and put the 
blame on the soldiers. Sub-prefect Siao did so likewise, as also 
all the witnesses of this bloody brutality committed against 
men who were justly defending their lives and who, faithful to 
instructions given them, offered no resistance to the soldiers. 
Siao Lao-yi is greatly to blame, and merits punishment. 

As for reproaching the Christians with having firearms, that 
is ridiculous in a country in which, to the knowledge and before 
the very eyes of the Mandarins, all the inhabitants carry arms 
to defend themselves against the pirates, who, thanks to the 
inactivity of those in power, abound there — brigandage and 
assassination are continual. 

Peace reigns there now, since the Mandarins expelled the 
pirates of Peyen and sent away under good escort the Protestant 
master Ko Siao-tsen. But I received a telegram this morning, 
November 16, stating that he returns this very day at the head 
of a large number of robbers. What will happen, and what 
can we do ? 

The other side of the relations between Roman Catholic and 
Protestant missionaries is seen in the following communication 
sent to the Shanghai Mercury by a Protestant missionary in 

Sui-fu, via Chungking Szechwan 
{From our Correspondent) 

November 28, 1906. 

It is with sorrow that I have to record the passing away of one 
of the Roman Catholic Fathers who has laboured in this land 
for over thirty years, twenty of which he has spent in this city. 
Pere Beraud has had a very busy time of it here, for besides 
looking after the members' spiritual welfare, he has built two 
large churches, one within and one without the city, both of 
which will remain as his monument for years to come. He 
passed away on November 11, from an apoplectic stroke, and 
was buried in the Priests' Cemetery at Ho-ti-k'eo, some twenty 
miles from here. Pere Beraud is especially remembered for his 
great kindness to your correspondent during the terrible time 
of the 1895 riots, when night after night he crept round about 
midnight to see how we were faring, and to sympathise with us 
in the difficulties of our situation. Such acts speak louder than 
words, and can never be forgotten. 


On December nth, 1905, a serious organised riot occurred at 
Shanghai, the provoking cause of which is described in the 
following narrative. 


Fight between Police and Runners 

Extraordinary Incidents 

The tension between the Municipal authorities and those 
of the Mixed Court reached a climax on Friday morning, when 
an attempt to carry out contradictory orders from the Bench 
led unfortunately to an exchange of blows between the municipal 
police and the native runners. 

There was a preliminary to Friday's occurrence on the pre- 
ceding day, when the Magistrate (Mr. Kuan), after making 
another futile protest against the presence of the police cadet 
in Court, and his supervision of the proper execution of the 
sentences of the Court, retaliated by sending a runner to the 
Central Police Station to see that they did their duty there 
properly. The selected runner spent a long and presumably 
rather tedious day in the courtyard of the Central Police Station, 
where he was allowed to remain unmolested. We understand, 
indeed, that a letter was sent from the Council to Mr. Kuan 
congratulating him on the interest he had suddenly taken in 
police administration, and offering his representative every 
facility for gaining useful information. 

Circumvented in this attempt in his policy of annoyance, a 
policy which Mr. Kuan has himself declared he has orders from 
the Taotai to pursue, it would seem that only the opportunity was 
wanted to force matters to a more serious issue. There are 
indications, in fact, that Friday's disorder was premeditated. 
Early in the session the Magistrate had a difference with the 
British Assessor (Mr. Twyman) over a case which had, he said, 
been ordered for hearing on another date, and which he now 
refused to hear. The real trouble came, however, when two 
women and three men were put before the Court on charges of 
kidnapping girls from their homes in Szechwan. Fifteen young 



girls, who were to be the witnesses in the case, had been cared 
for by the municipal police, and were brought to the court in 
their charge. When the case came to be remanded, the Assessor 
marked the charge sheet " Children to go to the Door of Hope 
pro tern." and instructed the police to take them there. Mr. 
Kuan, however, wished to keep the children in the Mixed Court 
cells, and gave his orders to the runners to take them away. 
The runners went to remove the children, but the police, under 
instructions from their cadet officer, Mr. Fenton, refused to give 
them up. There was some hustling, and one of the runners 
struck Inspector Gibson in the eye. This started a general fight, 
in which the police were victorious and carried off the children 
and prisoners to their vans in the yard. 

During the fight Mr. Ching, the Assistant Magistrate, was 
heard shouting from the Bench to the native municipal constables 
and detectives, in Chinese, that they were Chinese subjects, and 
if they resisted the Magistrate's orders they would be severely 
punished. The native constables, however, appear to have 
considered their first duty lay to their employers. 

The riot was sufficiently serious to induce Mr. Fenton to go 
to the telephone to send a message for reinforcements. He had 
used the instrument an hour before, and it was then all right, 
but now the mouthpiece was nowhere to be found. This may 
have been a coincidence merely. At all events it did not render 
the telephone unusable. The gates of the compound leading 
into the road were, however, shut and locked. The Magistrate, 
Assistant Magistrate, and Assessor were then standing in the 
middle of the court. Mr. Fenton went to ask that the gates 
be opened to allow the vans to go out, whereupon the Magistrate 
turned on him in a perfect fury, and told him that he might 
break the gates open, and destroy the court itself. " You may 
trample on my body," he added, and then strode away. The 
gates were subsequently opened, and the children removed. 
The sitting of the Court had, of course, been abruptly suspended. 

So far as is known the only casualties in the fight were sus- 
tained by Inspector Gibson and a runner, both of whom were 
slightly damaged. 

A wild statement is being industriously circulated that Mr. 
Ching was hit over the head by one of the police. 

The Chinese Version 

The Chinese view of the disturbance on Friday in the Mixed 
Court is represented in the following letter from " One who was 
present." The original letter is in Chinese. 


11 It has always been a part of the Regulation of the Inter- 
national Mixed Court for female criminals to be confined in 
the Mixed Court prison. Mr. Twyman, the British Vice-Consul, 
has, however, repeatedly wanted to send these females to the 
foreign gaol, and on this account it has been a subject of repeated 
opposition on the part of Mr. Kuan, the Magistrate of the Mixed 
Court. The latter has also petitioned the Shanghai Taotai to 
back up this opposition. This is on record. 

" On the morning of the 8th instant, Mr. Kuan, Magistrate, 
Mr. Ching, Assistant Magistrate, and Mr. Twyman, the British 
Assessor, were trying cases brought by the police, among which 
was one in which a certain Mrs. Li Wang-shih was charged with 
kidnapping children. According to the evidence, this woman 
claimed to be the wife of an official, and that she, accompanied 
by four others, had arrived in Shanghai from Szechwan ; that 
she had with her five little girls which she had purchased in 
Szechwan as personal attendants, but which the police had 
wrongly charged her with having kidnapped. In view of the 
wrongful accusation Mrs. Li Wang-shih asked that her accusers 
be punished. It was found, in the course of the trial, that the 
defendant had arrived in Shanghai in the steamer Poyang, en 
route to her home in Kwangtung, and that the luggage brought 
by her amounted to over one hundred pieces. As for the children, 
the defendant declared that she had documents proving bond 
fide sales to her of them, etc. As this evidence appeared to 
refute the charge of the children having been kidnapped, the 
Magistrate consulted with the Assessor as to the advisability of 
remanding the case, sending the children to the " Door of Hope," 
and keeping the defendants under the custody of the Mixed 
Court ad interim. The British Assessor, however, determined 
to have the defendants confined under remand in the foreign 
(municipal) gaol. The Magistrate replied that as he had 
not received any instructions from the Taotai to change the 
regulations, he could not consent to this. An argument ensued, 
and, neither side being willing to give way, the Magistrate 
accordingly ordered his runners to follow the regulations and 
hand the female defendants to the charge of the Court female 
gaoler. Upon this the Vice Consul ordered the police inspectors 
and all the constables present to use force in getting away the 
defendants. In the mUee that ensued two runners of the Court, 
Chang Ta'i and Chou Yu-ch'ing, and several onlookers were 
hurt, and when the Magistrate called out to the police to stop 
striking, one of the inspectors went so far as even to threaten 
him with a club. 

" About this time there was a large crowd of people outside 
the gates, who, hearing of the disturbance, tried to rush in. 


Fearing a riot against the police on the part of the mob, the 
Magistrate ordered the gates to be temporarily closed in order 
to prevent outsiders from coming in. Following on this the 
police forcibly took away the defendants, male and female. 
Nothing can render a worse insult to the dignity of an inde- 
pendent country than such treatment of its officials. 

11 Finally the two runners who were hurt by the police have 
been examined by a special officer sent by the Shanghai Taotai 
and also by Dr. Ransom, the latter granting a certificate as to 
the condition and nature of injuries received by the runners in 

The London Times of November 1, 1906, contains a letter on 
this subject from the Rev. W. Arthur Cornaby, Corresponding 
Secretary of the Christian Literature Society for China, who has 
peculiar opportunities for knowing what the Chinese think on 
public questions. 

Chinese Girl Slavery and the Shanghai Municipality 
To the Editor of " The Times " 

Sir, — I have been asked to send you some particulars, 
hitherto unpublished in England, concerning the Shanghai riot 
of last December and its sequel. I am in touch with Chinese 
public opinion from long residence, and latterly the editorship 
of a weekly newspaper in Chinese. 

Until toward the end of last year all the Chinese complaints 
which reached me were concerning the Chinese side of the Mixed 
Court, and especially the notorious " runners " of that Court. 
The Chinese of Shanghai felt they were not sufficiently protected 
by the fact of a Western assessor sitting to watch the cases. 
They deemed the French settlement system to suit them better, 
where the Western was the judge and the Chinese Mandarin 
the assessor. And not until the case of a woman from Szechwan, 
with eighteen young girls, being arrested by the Western police 
on suspicion of kidnapping, did the native papers and talkers 
and merchant guilds take sides (before the case had been tried) 
with the Chinese Mandarin against the police and municipal 
council. This is to be explained by the following facts. 

A riot in Shanghai was threatened as early as July 9 last 
year (1905) in a Chinese document, handed to certain members 
of the Municipal Council and others, by a league of Chinese 
owners of certain unmentionable property, who appended their 


names, fourteen in all, to that document. They deprecated 
anything being done to check their trade, or even to regulate 
it, as their Chinese patrons " would express their feelings in 
such an uncontrolled fashion as to cause great inconvenience 
to the foreign residents of the settlement " if any measures 
were attempted. 

The number of inmates of the houses referred to, as estimated 
by the property-owners themselves, is " not less than four or 
five thousand." And as many of these girls break down in 
health, the numbers are recruited by the agency of kidnappers 
and slave-dealers in many centres, notably along the Yangtze, 
from Hankow westward. Daughters of prominent native 
Christians have been among those kidnapped for this trade, 
and the Chinese have repeatedly affirmed that hardly one foreign 
steamer leaves Hankow for Shanghai without some " slaves " 
from Szechwan. The women who escort them pose as " ladies 
with personal slaves," and are protected by the league of Shanghai 
property-owners, backed by the merchant guilds (which latter 
were so much in evidence before last December riot) — so the 
Chinese of Central China have affirmed for over a decade now. 

Then, as there has been no tracing the missing daughters 
after they have been transferred from native boats to the foreign 
steamers, rumours have been dangerously current in past years 
that foreigners are connected with the trade, and paid to protect 
the " ladies " from Mixed Court investigations. Indeed, seven 
years ago I was myself mobbed, at a spot one hundred miles up 
the Han river, as being a " foreign kidnapper," which made it 
all the more interesting to be among those mobbed in Shanghai 
last December in the anti-rescue riot. Only the local Chinese 
feeling seems to have been reported in England, but so many 
Chinese families along the Yangtze Valley have lost their brightest 
girls that very much of the respectable public opinion out of 
Shanghai has been with the municipal police rather than on 
the side of " the patriots of Shanghai." And, happily, his 
Excellency, Chow Fu, Viceroy of these Liang Kiang provinces, 
saw the true national bearings of the case at the time, as opposed 
to local vested interests. He was forced to " save the Chinese 
face " by taking the " patriotic " side, but proceeded to draw 
up a memorial to the Throne for the total abolition of girl- 
slavery throughout China. This was twice reported to have 
been approved, but, as no Imperial edict has been forthcoming, 
he has now (September 24) memorialised the Throne once again, 
with intent to get the measure put through. This will affect 
millions of young girls physically and tens of thousands morally. 
And when his memorial becomes definite law, we may even 
see the local property-owners appealing to the Municipal Council 


to protect them from the local Chinese authorities, which will 
be a new departure in the tangled history of the Mixed Court of 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

W. Arthur Cornaby. 

Christian Literature Society for China, Shanghai, 
September 29. 




(Specially translated for the Shanghai Mercury) 

The following is a rough translation from the regulations pro- 
hibiting opium smoking compiled by the Government Council 
or Chengwuchu, as published in the Universal Gazette this 

Wang Ta-hsi, the Chinese Minister to London, some time 
ago presented a memorial regarding the prohibition of opium 
smoking, and an Imperial decree has since been issued ordering 
the Government Council to compile regulations effecting the 
prohibition of opium smoking. On November 21, 1906, the 
Government Council sent in the reply to the Imperial order, with 
the draft regulations consisting of ten articles. The regulations 
have been duly sanctioned by the Throne. 

Article I. To limit the cultivation of the poppy is the way 
to eradicate the evil. The poppy obstructs agriculture, and its 
effect is very bad. In China, in the provinces of Szechwan, 
Shensi, Kansu, Yunnan, Kweichow, Shansi, and Kianghuai, 
the poppy is widely cultivated, and even in other provinces 
there are places where poppy cultivation is largely pursued. 
Now it is decided to prohibit and root out the habit of smoking 
opium within ten years. It is therefore necessary to limit the 
cultivation of the poppy so as to effect the prohibition. Viceroys 
and Governors of provinces have to instruct the Magistrates of 
departments and districts to report upon, after registering, the 
actual area of land used for cultivation of poppy. Unless land 
has been hitherto used in the cultivation of the poppy it is not 
to be used for that purpose in future. For the land already 
being cultivated with the poppy special title-deeds must be 
obtained. Of the land at present in use for the cultivation of 
the poppy one-ninth must be annually withdrawn from culti- 
vation, and if such land is suitable, other crops are to be cultivated 
thereon. Magistrates of departments and districts are to pay 
surprise visits in order to ascertain whether there is any violation 
of this regulation. 

By this means the cultivation of the poppy will be exter- 
minated in nine years. 



Any person violating the rule will forfeit his land, and any 
person ceasing to grow the poppy and adopting some other crop 
before the time required in the decree shall be considered as 
meriting special reward. 

Article II. The issuing of certificates will prevent the 
possibility of new smokers. The bad habit of opium smoking 
has now been indulged in for such a long time. About three or 
four tenths of the natives smoke opium. Therefore we must 
be lenient to those who have already acquired the habit, but 
must be strict for the future. First of all, all the officials and 
gentry and licentiates shall be prohibited to smoke opium, so as 
to show examples to the common people. Those who smoke 
opium, without distinction, whether he be an official, one of the 
gentry, or a servant, shall report the fact at the local yamen. 
If the place of their living is remote from the local yamen, they 
may report themselves to the police bureau or to the gentry 
of that place, who will collect such applications and send the 
same to the local yamen. The local officials then will issue a 
proclamation ordering them to fill up a form with their names, 
age, residence, profession, and the amount of opium each smokes 
per day ; such forms will be ordered to be sent in at a fixed date 
according to the distance of the residence from the yamen. 
After the forms have been collected at the yamen a list will be 
compiled, and one copy of the same will be handed over to the 
higher yamen, and certificates will be issued under the official 
seal. Such certificates will be of two kinds : one for those who 
are over sixty years of age and another for those who are under 
sixty years of age. Those who receive the second kind of certi- 
ficate are not allowed to receive the certificate of the first kind 
when they reach sixty. In the certificate the name, age, native 
address, amount of daily consumption of opium, as well as the 
date of the issue of the certificate, are mentioned to certify that 
they are allowed to buy opium. If there are any who, having 
no certificate, buy opium secretly, such persons will be duly 
punished. Once a registration has been made and certificate 
been issued no future application will be allowed. 

Article III. By ordering gradual reduction of the amount 
of smoking opium, a cure of such habit may be effected. Those 
who are over sixty years old are treated leniently because of 
their age, but those who are below sixty and have received a 
certificate of second kind are ordered to reduce the amount of 
smoking annually either by two-tenths or three-tenths, and to 
determine the date of ceasing to smoke opium. Those who 
cease to smoke and obtain the guarantee of their neighbours 
will be presented to the local officials, who will also inquire into 
the case, and then the name will be erased from the book of 


registration and the certificate will be returned to the officials. 
A list of such withdrawals will be sent to the higher yamen for 
record. The date of prohibition of opium is quite lenient, and 
therefore if there is any one who does not give up the practice 
within term, such person shall be severely punished. If there 
is any one who has a certificate of the second class and does not 
stop smoking, if he be an official, he will be cashiered ; if he be 
a licentiate, his title will be taken away ; and if he be an unofficial 
person, his name will be registered. These names will be sent up 
to the higher yamen to be placed on record, their names and 
ages will be put up in the street, and their residence will be made 
public, and no honorary positions will be given to them. They 
are not allowed to be reckoned as equals of the general public. 

Article IV. By closing the opium shops the source of the 
evil can be cleared away. Until the terms for the date of pro- 
hibition come it is impossible to close the shops where opium 
is sold. However, there are opium shops where are many lamps 
for smoking opium, and many youngsters are induced to come 
there and gather together with many bad characters. Therefore 
such shops shall be closed by local authorities within six months, 
and the owners shall be ordered to change their occupations. 
If they do not close their shops in time, these shops shall be 
officially closed by sealing the door. The restaurants and bars 
shall not keep opium for the use of their customers, and the 
guests shall not be allowed to bring in any opium pipe in order 
to smoke opium in these places. If there are any who violate 
the rule, they shall be severely punished. Those who sell opium 
pipes, opium lamps, or other utensils for opium smokers, shall be 
prohibited from selling these goods after six months, or they shall 
be severely punished. The taxes on opium lamps shall not be 
collected three months after date. 

Article V. By registering each shop where opium is sold, 
the exact number of them can be known. Though the shops 
where opium is sold cannot be closed at once, yet they can be 
gradually closed and no new shops be allowed to be opened 
henceforth. In every city, town, or village, the shops where 
opium or opium dross is sold are to be investigated by the local 
officials, and their numbers shall be duly registered and kept 
on record. Certificates shall be issued, which certificates will 
be reckoned as permits to follow that business, and no more 
new shops shall be allowed to be opened. These shops shall 
show the certificates whenever they buy their merchandise, or 
they are not allowed to sell the same. These shops shall report 
upon the quantity of opium and opium dross they sell at the end 
of each year, and report the same to the local officials, who will 
keep the same on record. After calculating the total amount 


oi opium and opium dross consumed in a district, annually, the 
proportion of annual reduction necessary for the abolition of 
opium smoking in ten years shall be calculated. Any surplus 
at the end of that time shall be destroyed, and double its value 
forfeited as a fine. 

Article VI. The Government shall manufacture medicine 
to cure the bad habit. There are many prescriptions for curing 
the habit of smoking opium, and each province shall select the 
best medical students to undertake research for the best cure 
suited to the circumstances of each province. Such cures 
shall be made in pills, and shall in no case contain opium or 
morphia. After being manufactured such pills will be distributed 
to each prefecture, sub-prefecture, department, and district, 
at reasonable prices, and then these will be handed over to the 
charitable societies or medicine shops where the cure will be 
sold at cost price. Whenever there are any poor people who 
cannot afford to buy the medicine, the cure may be given to them 
gratis. It is also granted to local gentry to manufacture the cure 
in accordance with the official prescription, so as to have the 
cure distributed as widely as possible. If there is any one who 
will distribute the cure for charity's sake, and if such cure has 
the proper effect, the local officials shall give them reward. 

Article VII. The establishment of anti-opium societies is 
a worthy proceeding. Lately, many persons cured have volun- 
tarily organised an anti-opium society, and have endeavoured 
to eradicate bad habits. This is really praiseworthy. Therefore 
the Viceroys and the Governors of provinces shall instruct the 
local officials, with the local gentry, to organise anti-opium 
societies, and to endeavour to stop the opium-smoking habit in 
the locality. Then prohibitions will surely have better effect. 
Such society shall be purely for the anti-opium smoking, and 
the society shall not discuss any other matters, such as political 
questions bearing on topical affairs or local administration, or 
any similar matter. 

Article VIII. The local officials are relied upon to use their 
utmost endeavour to carry into effect these regulations, and 
with the effective support of the local gentry there should be 
no difficulty in carrying out the prohibition. The Tartar 
Generals, the Viceroys, and the Governors of provinces shall 
make up a list of people who smoke opium and those who cease 
to smoke annually, and the number of pills which are used as 
cure, together with the number of anti-opium societies. These 
lists, when compared, will easily give the" comparative results of 
each province, by which the responsible officials will be either 
rewarded or reproved accordingly. The annuallstatistics shall 
be sent to the Government Council, where their merits will be 



duly dealt with. In the city of Peking the police authorities, 
officers of gendarmerie, and the officials of the city are held 
responsible. If in any district opium smoking is stamped out 
before the expiry of the ten years' limit, the officials of that 
district should be duly rewarded. The petty officials are to be 
warned to have no irregularities in reducing the area in which 
the poppy is cultivated, in issuing certificates for opium shops 
and shops where opium and opium dross are sold, or in dealing 
with those who smoke opium. Any such irregularity will be 
followed by severe punishment, and any who receive bribes 
will be punished on a charge of the crime of fraud. 

Article IX. The officials are strictly prohibited from smoking 
opium so as to set examples to others. The prohibition within 
ten years is for the general public. The officials shall be examples 
to common people, and therefore they shall stop such bad habits 
before the general public, and such prohibitions shall be strictly 
enforced upon the officials and the punishments upon them 
shall be more severe. From now all the officials without distinc- 
tion of rank, metropolitan or provincial, military or civil, who 
are over sixty and suffering from opium smoking habits, are 
exempted from the prohibition just as are the common people, 
for they are too far gone for cure. However, those who have not 
reached sixty years of age, princes, dukes, men of title, high 
Metropolitan officials, Tartar Generals, Viceroys, Governors, 
Deputy Lieutenant Military Governors, the Provincial Com- 
manders-in-chief, as well as Brigadier Generals, being all officials 
who are well treated by the Throne and high in rank and position, 
are not allowed to conceal their affairs, and if they smoke opium, 
they shall report themselves and the dates when they should 
stop the same. During the cure of the habit these officials shall 
not retire from their official duties, but shall appoint acting 
officials ; and when they have proved themselves cured of opium 
smoking, they may return to official duties. Moreover, they 
shall not be allowed to take opium under the pretence of illness 
longer than the terms promised The rest of the officials in 
metropolitan or provincial service, either military or civil, sub- 
stantive or expectant, shall report themselves to their principal 
officials in regard to these matters, and they shall cease to smoke 
within six months, at the end of which time they will be examined. 
If there are any who cannot be cured in time, they shall give 
reasons, and if they are hereditary, they shall retire and, if they 
be ordinary officials, they will retire with original titles retained. 
If any conceal their actual conditions, such officials shall be 
impeached and be summarily cashiered as a warning to others. 
If there are any who are misreported by higher officials, they may 
memorialise and the case will be tried accordingly. Those 


who are the professors and students of ordinary schools and 
colleges or of military or naval schools and colleges are also 
hereby ordered to cease smoking within six months from date. 

Article X. The prohibition of the import of foreign opium 
is one of the ways to root out the source of opium smoking. The 
prohibition of cultivation of the poppy and of the opium-smoking 
habit are within the jurisdiction of the internal administrations. 
Foreign opium, however, concerns foreign Powers. The Waiwupu 
is hereby instructed to negotiate with the British Minister to 
Peking to enter into a convention to prohibit the importation of 
opium gradually within a certain term of years, so as to stop 
such importations before the term for the prohibition of opium 
smoking. Opium is imported from Persia, Annam, Dutch colonies, 
and other places besides India, and the Waiwupu shall also open 
negotiation with the Ministers of these treaty powers. In case 
of a power where there is no treaty China can prohibit the 
importation by her own laws. The Tartar Generals, Lieutenant 
Generals, Viceroys, and Governors shall order the Commissioners 
of Customs to find a way to stop such importation from the 
frontiers either by water or by land. It is also known that 
morphia is injected, and the habit is worse than opium smoking. 
It is mentioned in Article n in the Anglo-Chinese Commercial 
Treaty, and in Article 16 of the American Chinese Commercial 
Treaty, that except for medical purposes no morphia shall be 
imported to China, and it is also strictly prohibited to sell or 
manufacture morphia or syringes for injecting the same by 
Chinese or foreign shops, so as to stop the bad habit. 

These regulations shall be promulgated by the local civil 
and military officials in cities, towns, and villages, for the informa- 
tions of the general public. 

Peking, December 8. 

The British Minister to Peking has expressed deep sympathy 
with the Chinese authorities regarding the prohibition of opium 
smoking, and the Waiwupu has expressed its gratitude for the 
sympathy expressed. The following proposal has been made 
to the British Minister : — 

i. By taking the average of the total sum of the imports of 
opium in the last five years, the amount of opium allowed to be 
imported to China annually will be decided, and such amount will 
be gradually reduced so as to discontinue the importation of 
opium in ten years. 

2. A Chinese delegate will be sent to India to investigate 
the actual amount of opium imported to China from India. 


3. The tax on foreign opium will be made heavier, as in 
the case of native opium. 

4. The Hongkong merchants who manufacture prepared 
opium are importing it to China. The tax on such prepared 
opium shall be raised. 

5. The regulations prohibiting opium smoking shall be 
made effective in all the foreign concessions and settlements. 

6. Except for medical purposes no morphia shall be permitted 
to be imported. 



(Exchange at 

3s. per tael). 








off to 

Dec. 31, '06. 

Dec. 31, 1906. 





1. LoanE. Tls.767.aoo .. 







2. Hongkong and Shang- 

hai Bank loan, Tls. 








3. Arnhold, Karberg, & 

Co., Nanking I^oan 







4. Cassel loan 







5. Hongkong and Shang- 

hai Bank loan 







6. Franco-Russian loan, 







13,067,940 . 

7. Anglo-German loan . . 







8. Anglo- German loan . . 







Indemnities : 


9. Series A 






10. Series B 






11. Series C 





22,500,000 1 

12. Series D 




(i 9 i6)t 


13. Series E 

I 7,25o,ooo 





14. I,oan 





(Jan. o7)t 






Railways : 

15. Imperial Chinese Rly. 







16. Peking-Hankow Rly. 







17. Shanghai-Nanking Rly. 







18. Canton-Hankow Rly. 

(Hongkong Gov. 








19. Canton-Kowloon Rly.|| 









; [12,085,000 

Grand Total 





* Fixed annual charge. 

t £500,000 paid off in Jan. 1907, then £22,222 a year. 

§ Authorisedfamount to be issued, £3,250,000. 


t Redemption begins. 

|| In course of issue June 1907. 


Afghanistan, 8 
Albazin, 20 

Alcock, Sir Rutherford, 353 
Alfred, contemporary coins, 122 
American Government compared 
with Chinese, 47 

— relations, 42, 54, 179, 183, 239, 

274, 335> 337 
Amherst, Lord, 23, 273 
Amoy, port, 25, 249, 271, 273, 326, 

Amur, river, 20, 206 
Ancestral worship, 49, 60, 196 
An-cha Shih-sze, 64 
Andrade, Fernando de, 16, 270, 271 
Anhwei province, 27, 61, 63, 69, 93, 

95, 96, 101, 148, 154, 233, 318, 

342, 347 
Animals for food, 298 
Aniseed, 263 
Anking, city, 27, 234 
Annam, 14, 15, 37 
Antimony, 226, 263, 298 
Antung, port, 209 
Arab traders, 270, 302, 324, 326 
Archives, Court of, 56 
Area, measure of, 174 

— of China and provinces, 203, 209, 
215, 221, 222, 223, 226, 228, 231, 
233, 234, 244* 247* 251, 262, 265I 

Aristotle, 5 

Army, 74, 226, 234 

Arrow, lorcha, 28 

Audience, Imperial, 21, 23, 34,*35> 

100, 375 
Austrian relations, 213 

Bacninh, 37 

Bactria, 8 

Baikal, lake, 12, 206 j 

Balance of trade, 299 

Bank, Customs, 367 

Bankruptcy laws, 178' f^\\ 

Banners, Manchu military, 18, 74 

Beans and bean-cake, 206, 296, 318 

Belgian relations, 213 

Bimetallic ratio, 125, 128, 143, 153, 

Bisbee, A. M., 369 
Boards. See Ministries 
Bogue, the (Hoomunchai), 22, 181, 

273. 277 
Bourboulon, Mons. de, 31 
Bowra, E. C., 361 

Boxer outbreak (1900), 42, 212 
Boycott, 73, 252 
Bredon, Sir Robert E., 359 
Brigandage and piracy, 72, 251, 

263, 303 
Brine wells, 223 
Bristles, 297 
British relations, 22, 23, 29, 41, 54, 

179, 181, 212, 230, 239, 254, 260, 

272, 328, 334, 337 
Bruce, Sir Frederick, 31 
Buddhism, 49, 412 
Burgevine, General, 32, 33 
Burlinghame, Hon. Anson, 31, 34 
Burma, 14, 21, 35 

Calcutta, Black Hole of, 177 
Canton, port, 15, 23, 24, 26, 29, 54, 
56, 76, 157, 172, 173, 177, 193, 
199, 204, 253, 270, 271, 272, 273, 

274, 276, 304, 305, 328, 332, 345, 

Capacity, measures of, 172 
Caravan trade, 20, 271, 274, 302, 

3ii» 3i6 
Carr, L., 353 
Cartwright, W., 359, 361 
Cash (copper coin), double value, 

— (copper coin), variability of tiao, 

Catty, weight, 171 
Censors, Court of, 58 
Cessions and lesees of territory, 26, 

4i. 259 
Chang Chih-tung, 44 




Chang Hsien-chung, rebel, 17 
Changan, city, 10 
Changkiawan, 30 
Changsha, city, 27, 227 
Changteh, 228, 311 
Chapdelaine, Auguste, 192 
Chapu, port, 25, 76 
Charlemagne, contemporary coins, 

Chefoo Agreement, 35, 224, 256, 

340, 381 
— , port, 148, 154, 217, 318 
Chekiang, province, 62, 64, 76, 93, 

95, 96, 101, 135, 154, 197. 244. 

312, 342, 344, 346, 385 
Cheling pass, 226, 305 
Chemulpo, 36, n 
Chengtu, city, 76, 223, 349 
Chih-Chow, 66 
Chih-Fu, 66 
Chih-Hsien, 67 
Chihli, province, 7, 42, 63, 75, 92, 

93, 100, 206, 209, 312, 315, 342, 
Chihli-chow. See Prefect 
Chihli-ting. See Prefect 
Chihtai. See Viceroy 
Chinchew, port, 271 
China, conquest of, 13 ; derivation 

of word, 6 ; extent of the Empire, 


Chinese : a law-abiding people, 
72 ; calendar, 2, 4 ; dynasties, 
3-18 ; government, 46 ; govern- 
ment as compared with American, 
47 ; history, 2 ; race, 1 

Chinhai, port, 25 

Chinkiang, port, 26, 31, 39, 76, 221, 
236, 312, 318, 350 

Chinwangtao, port, 214 

Chow Dynasty, 4, 5, 6, 11, 120, 121, 

253. 377 
Chow Han, literate, 38 
Chow -pan, 67 
Chow-tung, 67 
Christianity in China, 16 
Chungking, port, 40, 145, 155, 224, 

Chung Wang, 32, 33 
Chu Tsun, 344 
Chu Yuan-Chang, founder of Ming 

Dynasty, 15 
Chwang Lieh-ti, 17 
Chwangliang, city, 76 
Cigarettes, 289 
Clansmen, Imperial, 52 
Coal, 206, 209, 215, 217, 226, ?66, 

289, 298, 318 

Coast Inspector, 3ft* 

Cochin China, 37 

Co-Hong. See Hong 

Coins, 119, 120, 121 ; dimensions, 

127 ; weight and value, 124 
Commercial relations with England, 

Commissioners of Customs, 360, 

362, 365. 367. 369. 37o, 373. 387 
Concessions. See Treaty Ports 
Confucius, 3, 5, 6, 10, 53 
Consul, office of, 184 
Consuls, foreign, 82, 181, 184, 187, 

190, 199, 202, 212, 353, 365, 368 
Copper, 95, 98, 206, 266, 288, 298 

— coins, 120, 132, 165, 167 

— token coins, 126, 128, 288 
Cotton cloth, 136, 282, 286, 319 

— raw, 136, 235, 290, 297 

— yarn, 287 
Courbet, Admiral, 38 
Courier service, 65, 72, 377 
Court, the, 49 

Cowries as currency, 119, 136 
Currency, 1 19 

— copper, 120, 121, 123 
Customs, maritime, 98, 105, 151, 


— native, 367, and 98 

— tariff, 26, 29, 188, 205, 338, 355 

Daae, I. M., 359 
Dalny. See Talien 
Danish relations, 275 
Decimal system, 171 
Delegated functions, 68, 70 
Detring, G., 361, 370, 383 
Dick, Thos., 361 
Distance, measure of , 173 
Dollar, American, 165 

— Carolus (Spanish), 163, 283, 331 

— Japanese, 165 

— Mexican, 128, 157, 165 
Dragon, emblem, 49, 52 
Drew, E. B., 361 
Durra, 206, 210 

Dutch relations, 16, 20, 177, 272, 

283, 327. 337 
Dye-stuff, 289 
Dynasties, 3-18 

East India Company, 23, 191, 273 

275, 280, 283, 328, 329, 332 
Edan, B., 353 
Edicts, Sacred, 21 

— secret, 43 

■ — reform/ 4 5 

Educational Department, 363, 370 



Eggs, 298 

Elgin, Lord, 28 

Elliot, Captain Charles, 24, 25, 334 

Emigration, 247, 260, 301 

Emperor, the, 48, 67, 81, 82 

Empress Consort, 49, 5 1 

— Dowager, 35, 41, 42, 43, 52 
Engineer-in-Chief, 368 
English. See British 
Exchange between currencies, 105, 

108, 119, 130, 154, 161, 166 

— bills of, 133 
Expectant officials, 68, 70 
Expenditure, state, 80, ill, 115, 

Extraterritoriality, 175, 205, 282, 
352, 364, 372, 399 

Factories at Canton, 24, 177, 179, 

253. 273, 275, 335, 352 
Famine, 71, 315 

Fantai. See Treasurer, Provincial 
Fees exacted, 277, 279, 280 
Fen-sun Tao, 65 
Feudal government, 5, 6, 7, 80 
Fibres, 297 
Fire-crackers, 297 
First Emperor. See Shih Hwangti 
Fish, 289 

Fitz-Roy, G. H., 356, 359 
Five dynasties, epoch of the, 1 1 

— rulers, 2 
Floods, 216, 228, 231 
Flour, 289 

Fluids sold by weight, 172 
Foochow, port, 16, 26, 38, 76, 204, 

248, 271, 272, 307 
Foreign debt, 441 

— Legations at Peking, 29, 31, 42, 
43, 44, 380 

— Merchants, 187, 202, 279, 352, 


— Ministers at Peking, 29, 31, 44, 

— Post Offices, 381, 391 

— relations with China, 19, 25, 26, 
35, 54. 179, 254, 259, 281 

— trade, 270, 282, 284, 299, 317, 


— wars. See Wars 

Formosa, 1, 16, 29, 38, 40, 272, 273, 

327, 342, 343, 378 
French relations, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 

37, 40, 41, 54, 180, 182, 192, 212, 

230, 240, 254, 274 
Frontier ports, characteristics, 267 
Fu. See Prefect 
Fu-Hsi, 2 

Fukien, province, 64, 76, 93, 101, 

247, 342, 344, 346 
Furs, 283 
Fusan, 36 
Futai. See Governor 

Garrisons, Manchu (and Mongol). 

47, 76, 211 
Generation, length of, 217 
Genghis Khan, 12, 13 
Gensan, 36 
German relations, 40, 41, 42, 195, 

213, 230 
Glass and Glassware, 289 
Glover, George B., 357 
God, translation of term for, 21 
Gold, 206, 215, 263, 266 

— as currency, 119 

Golden Dynasty. See Kin Dynasty 

— Horde, 1 2 

Gordon, Captain C. E., 33 
Gorges of Yangtze, 308 
Government of China, 46 
Governor, office of, 60, 63, 64, 65, 

77, 112 
Grand Canal, 14, 26, 95, 107, 154, 

211, 220, 236, 245, 312 

— Council, 5 5 
Gratuities to Officials, 99 

Great Wall, 7, 17, 92, 203, 209, 317 
Groundnuts, 319 
Guilds, Trade, 74, 170, 252 
Gurkhas, 21 

Haiho. See Peiho 

Haimen, city, 419 

Hainan, island, 1, 258 

Han Dynasty, 8, 68, 119 

Han river, 3 1 1 

Hangchow, city, 12, 14, 40, 76, 95, 

154, 172, 237, 244, 245, 312 
Hankow, port, 27, 35, 56, 102, 148, 

157, 199, 221, 230, 305, 307, 311, 

345, 347, 349 
Han-lin Yuan, 59 
Hannen, Chas., 361 
Hanyang, city, 27 
Harbin, city, 206, 209 
Harbor-master, 356, 369 
Harding, J. R., 368 
Hart, James H., 383 
Hart, Sir Robert, 57, 94, 356, 374, 

375, 380, 388 
Height of mountain, 174 
Henderson, D. M., 368 
Hereditary nobility, 53 
Hides, 297 



Hienfeng, Emperor, 26, 31, 52, 120, 

126, 142 
Hien-tsu, 52 
Hing Pu, 57 
Hioh Pu, 58, 65 
Historical map, 2 
Hiung-nu, tribe, 8 
Hofei (hsien), district, 69 
Hoihow, 99, 258 
Hokow, 267 
Holland, Captain, 33 
Honan, province, 2, 5, 62, 63, 83, 

87, 90, 92, 93, 95, 114, 221, 311, 

Hong at Canton, 23, 54, 275, 278, 

281, 334 
Hongkong, British Colony, 26, 254, 

255. 260, 335, 336 
Hope, Admiral, 32 
Hoppo of Canton, 23, 24, 54, 66, 99, 

123, 281, 331, 334 
Howqua, Hong merchant, 28 * 
Hsia Dynasty, 3, 4 
Hsiang, river, 2 
Hsien, district, 65, 86 

— office of, 67, 69, 70, 71, 86, 87, 
108, 112, 377 

Hu Nai-tsi, 344 

Hu Pu, 57 

Huber, A., 361 

Hughes, George, 357 

Hukwang, 95 

Hunan, province, 2, 8, 9, 26, 59, 62, 

64, 95, 96, 101, 107, 226, 305, 307, 

318, 342, 345, 347 
Hung Hsiu-chuen, Taiping leader, 

26, 27, 32, 33 
Hungwu, Emperor, 123, 141, 235 
Hupeh, province, 9, 44, 61, 64, 92, 

93. 95. 96, 101, 102, 228, 342, 347 
Hwai salt administration, 100, 101 
Hwangho. See Yellow River 
Hwangpu, river, 238 
Hwangti, ruler, 2, 6 

Ichang, port, 36, 228, 308, 349 

Hi, province, 36 

Ilipu, Commissioner, 26 

Imperial Clansmen, 52 

Indemnities, 26, 29, 30, 35, 40, 44, 
281, 299, 367 

Inland places, 190, 193, 205, 366 

Inspectorate of Customs. See Cus- 
toms, maritime 

Internal trade, 302 

Irkutsk, city, 206 

Iron, 206, 215, 288, 298 

— currency, 119, 126 

Italian relations, 41, 212 
Ito, Count, 37 

Japan, wars with, 14, 36, 39, 78 

Japanese relations, 36, 37, 212, 218 

Java, 327 

Jehol, city, 23, 30, 31 

Judge, Provincial, 64, 68, 70, 112, 

Junk traffic, 98, 207, 214, 218, 303, 

307, 310, 313 
Jurisdiction over Chinese, 182, 183, 

i95> 198 

— over foreigners. See Extra- 

Kaifeng, city, 2, 12, 13, 76, 315 

Kalgan, mart, 315 

Kan, river, 2 

Kang Yu-wei, reformer, 41 

Kanghi, Emperor, 19, 20, 21, 49, 

53, 91, 123, 125, 191, 193. 328 
Kansu, province, 8, 33, 63, 76, 93, 

96, 222, 316 
Kao-Tsung, Emperor, 10 
Kelung, 38 

Kettler, Baron von, 44 
Khitan, tribe, 11 
Kiakhta, treaty of, 180 

— mart, 316 

Kiaking, Emperor, 23, 126 
Kiangsi, province, 2, 8, 9, 63, 93, 

95, 96, 101, 154, 231, 342, 347 
Kiangsu, province, 9, 32, 33, 61, 62, 

83< 93- 95* 96, 101, 148, 154, 234, 

312, 342, 346, 385 
Kiangyin, city, 39 
Kiaochow, German colony, 41, 219, 

Kienfeng, Emperor, 21, 23, 49, 122 
Kienlung, Emperor, 21, 22, 49, 125 
Kin Dynasty, 12, 13, 122, 134 
Kingchow, city, 76 
Kingtehchen, porcelain centre, 95, 

232, 306 
Kirin, province and city, 205 
Kisiang, reign title, 31, 50 
Kiukiang, port, 27, 154, 232 
Kiungchow, port, 29, 258 
Kiying, 26 

Kleczkowsky, C, 357 
Klein wachter, F., 361 
Knife coins, 121 
Ko-lao-hui, 39 
Kongmoon, port, 258 
Kopsch, H., 383 
Korea, 8, 11, 36, 37, 39, 4° 
Koshinga, pirate chief, 16, 272 



Kotow, ceremonial of, 20, 23, 272 
Kowloon Customs, 255, 340, 342 

— territory, 30, 261 
Kowshing, steamer, 39 

Kublai Khan, 13, 14, 46, 137, 220, 

265, 312 
Kuldja, city, 36 
Kuling, mountain resort, 232 
Kun, Ki-chu, 57 
Kung, Prince, 30, 31, 52, 55, 357, 

Kung Fu-tze. See Confucius 
Kung-pao, 57 
Kung Pu, 58 
Kwangchow-wan, French colony, 

41, 262, 342 
Kwanghsu, Emperor, 35, 41, 50, 


Kwangsi, province, 1, 8, 24, 26, 28, 

59, 62, 64, 93, 96, 101, 262, 304, 

342, 35° 
Kwangtung, province, 1, 8, 16, 64, 

76, 92, 93, 99, 101, 107, 251, 318, 

342, 344- 345 
Kweichow, province, 1, 64, 93, 101, 

222, 304, 311, 345, 350 
Kweihwa, city, 76 
Kwei Liang, 55 
Kwo Show-king, mathematician, 


Lake Baikal, 12, 206 

Land registration, 71, 73, 86, 104 

— tax, 85 
Langson, city, 38 
Laotze, 5 

Lappa customs, 255, 340, 342 

Lay, Horatio Nelson, 353, 356 

Lead, 206, 267, 282, 288 

Lee Pu, 57 

Length, measure of, 172 

Leonard, J. K., 357 

Lex loci, application of, 176, 177, 

178, 185 
Li, measure of distance, 173 
Li Han-chang, 61 
Li Hung-chang, 27, 32, 33, 37, 40, 

56 60, 61, 69, 233, 381 
Li Tze-ching, rebel, 17 
Liangchow, city, 76 
Liang Tao, 65 
Liao, 206 

Liaotung peninsula, 17, 40 
Liaoyang, city, 17 
Lights, buoys, and beacons, 356, 

368, 369 
Likin, inland taxation, 82, 106, 108, 

109, 303, 34o, 345> 366 

Lin Tze-sii, Imperial Commissioner, 

25- 334 
Linchow, city, 237 
Lintin Island, opium depot, 332 
Literature, Chinese, 2, 59, 227, 379 

— anti-Christian, anti-foreign, 34, 


— destruction of, 7 

— encouragement of, 10, 21, 34, 45 
Li-tsung, Emperor, 13 

Little, Archibald J., 224 

Liu Kun-i, 43 

Liu Ming-chuan, 378 

Liu Pang, 7 

Liu Yu, 9 

Loch, Sir Henry, 30 

Lolos, 1 

Lo-ti-shui, tax, 106 

Lu, Duke of, 5 

Lungchow, city, 263, 264, 304 

Macao, Portuguese colony, 24, 177, 

204, 255, 259, 271, 272, 273, 276, 
277- 332 

Macartney, Lord, 22, 273, 328 
Macpherson, A., 361 
Magistrate. See Hsien 
Manchu Regent See Durgan 
Manchuria, 44, 60, 6y, 75, 100, 203, 

205, 316, 342, 346 

Manchus, 8, 17, 19, 46, 62, 74, 86, 

95' 123, 144, 203, 206, 317, 327 
Manhao, 267 
Manila. See Philippines 
Manwyne, city, 35 
Marco Polo, 14 
Margary, A. R., 35' 3^ 
Martin, W. A. P., 370 
Matches, 289 
Matteo Ricci, 16, 191 
Matting, 297 
McCalla, Captain, 42 
Measures, 170 
Medicines, 319 
Meiling Pass, 232, 306 
Mencius, 3, 5, 6 

Mengtsz, city, 265, 267, 305, 350 
Merchant, position of, 187 
Merchants. See Foreign Merchants 
Meritens, Baron de, 361 
Metals. See Minerals 
Miaotze, 1 
Michael Roger, 16 
Middle Kingdom, 6 
Millet, 95, 210 
Min river, 38, 307 
Minerals, 206, 223, 263, 288, 298 



Ming Dynasty, 15, 16, 17, 18, 46, 

122, 141, 210, 235, 312, 327 
Mining royalties, 104 
Ministries (Peking), 51, 54, 57. 58, 

112, 395 
Mint statistics, 129 
Missionaries, 11, 16, 21, 28, 31, 37, 

39, 41, 43, 190, 194, 196, 202, 219, 

417^ 420 
Mixed Courts, 198, 428 
Mokammedans, 33, 36, 176. 326, 

Mokanshan, mountain resort, 245 
Mongolia, 8, 15, 21, 203 
Mongols, 8, 12-15, 95, 122, 136, 203, 

210, 235 
Monopoly of trade, 187, 275, 280, 281 
Monsoon, 270, 277, 303 
Morphia, 351 
Morrison, Robert, 191 
Moukden, city, 17, 206, 208, 347 
Mow, measure of area, 174 
Municipal government, Chinese, 47, 


— government, foreign, 186, 188, 
189, 198, 200, 204, 212, 218, 227, 
240, 254 

Murphy, R. C., 353 
Musk, 319 

Namoa Island, near Swatow, 333 
Nanking, port, 9, 12, 26, 27, 32, 33, 

54, 56, 57> 6l > 6 5> 76, 95- IOI > J 73> 


— treaty of, 26, 54, 153, 177, 181, 

204, 255, 260, 334, 338 
Nanning, 265 
Napier, Lord, 23, 24, 54, 273, 281, 

Nerchinsk, 20, 180 
Newchwang, port, 29, 161, 206 
Niehtai. See Judge, Provincial 
Ninghia, city, 76 
Ningpo, port, 16, 25 32, 204, 246, 

271, 273 
Ningyuan, city, 17, 317 
Nipal, 21 

Nobility, ranks of, 47, 53, 217, 375 
North and South, division between, 

Notes. See Paper-money 
Nii -Chen Tartars, 12 
Nui-Ko, 56 
Nurhachu, 17 

Official intercourse, 276, 281 

Ogotai Khan, 13 

Oil„ bean, wood, etc., 296, 319 

Oil, kerosene, 107, 289 
Oil-seeds, 298, 320 
Oliphant, Laurence, 338 
Onon, river, 12 
Opium, 179, 323 

— called tea, 332 

— foreign, no, 285, 328, 337, 341, 

342, 350, 366, 434 

— medicinal use, 324, 327, 337 

— native, no, 206, 225, 266, 305, 

325, 343, 350, 434 

— smoking, 326, 327, 337, 343, 349, 


— trade, 25, 36, 255, 281, 328, 335, 

338, 340, 34i. 343. 434 
Osborne, Sherard, 356 
Oyama, General, 40 

Pakhoi, port, 36, 99, 258, 250 

Palikiao, 30 

Paotingfu, city, 43 

Paper money, 46, 119, 122, 133 

Parker, Peter, 354 

Parker, Sir William, 25 

Parkes, Sir Harry, 28, 30 

Parsee merchants, 335, 337 

Passports, 340 

Pawnbrokers' licenses, 104 

Pechihli, Gulf of, 209, 215 

Peiho, river, 29, 211 

Peitaiho, seaside resort, 215 

Peking, city, 18, 19, 22, 24, 27, 29, 
30, 31, 42, 43, 47, 56, 60, 71, 83, 
95, 123, 155, 210, 271, 273, 274, 
307, 3i7> 359 

Penalty for homicide, 178, 199, 274 

People of China, 1, 46, 196, 251 

Perestrello, Raphael, 15, 270 

Persecution of Christians, 191, 192, 

Pescadores Islands, 16, 38, 40, 272 

Philippine Islands, 16, 271, 326 

Phoenix, emblem, 52 

Picul, weight, 171 

Ping Pu, 57 

Piracy. See Brigandage 

Piry, T., 380, 384 

Plague, bubonic, 265 

Plato, 5 

Polo, Marco, 14 

Pope, decision of, 193 

Poppy, 323, 337, 434 

Population, 203, 207, 209, 211, 214, 
215, 218, 221, 222, 223, 226, 227, 
228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 
235, 236, 238, 240, 244, 245, 246, 
247, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 257, 
i58, 260, 262, 203, 2^5. 207, 268 



Porcelain, 95, 98, 232, 306 

Port Arthur, 40, 41, 44, 206 

Port Hamilton, 37 

Portuguese relations, 15, 21, 22, 

177, 260, 270, 328, 337 
Poseh, mart, 263, 304 
Post Office, 370, 377 
Postal hongs, 379, 382, 392 
Postal money orders, 385 
Pottinger, Sir Henry, 25 
Poyang lake, 231, 306 
Prefect, Office of, 65, 66, 67, 70, 112 
Provinces of China, 203 
Provincial government, 47, 59, 64, 

Provisions, 298 
Pu-cheng Shih-sze, 64 
Pu-chun, Prince, 50 
Pu-lun, Prince, 50, 53 

Queue head-dress, 17, 18 
Quicksilver, 282 

Railways, 206, 207, 208, 220, 266, 
305< 3*5* 3 J 6, 320, 321 

Rebellions. See Taiping, and Mo- 

Reclamation of land, 210 

Red Girdle, 52 

— River (Tonkin), 266 

Reed tax, 104 

Reed, William B., 338 

Reform Party, 41 

Remittance of money, 83 

Residence in interior, 191, 193 

Revenue, 80, 85, 115, 116, 118 

Ricci, Matteo, 16, 191 

Rice, 95, 136, 226, 233, 235, 251, 
289, 317 

Riots, 33, 38, 42, 186, 196, 367, 419, 

Roger, Michael, 16 

Roman dominion, 175 

Russian relations, 20, 21, 22, 36, 37, 
40, 41, 56, 180, 191, 213, 230, 273 

Sacred Edict, 21 

Salaries, official, 69, 81, 85, 87, 99, 

Salt, 62, 65, 71, 100, 113, 114, 223 

235' 255, 266, 302, 307 
Samshui, port, 257 
Sandalwood, 283 
Sankolinsin, 27 
Sanmen Bay, 41 
Santuao, port, 247 
Seoul, 37 

Seymour, Admiral, 42 
Shang Dynasty, 4 

Shanghai, port, 25, 31, 32, 107, 148, 

154, 158, 172, 199, 238, 307, 318, 

348, 352, 39i 
Shanhaikwan, 203, 317 
Shan-how Kii, 65 
Shans, 1 
Shansi, province, 63, 76, 92, 93, 100, 

222, 315, 345. 346, 348 
Shantung, province, 5, 41, 42, 62, 

63, 76, 92, 93, 95, 96, 1 01, 206, 

215, 312, 342, 346 
Shasi, port, 40, 229, 305, 308 
Shengking, province, 206 
Shen Nung, ruler, 2 
Shensi, province, 1, 10, 11, 17, 33, 

63, 76, 93, 100, 101, 222, 316, 324, 

Shih Hwangti, Emperor, 6, 125 
Shimonoseki, Treaty of, 40 
Shipping statistics, 231, 242, 284 
Shiuhing, city, 24, 54, 173 
Shu Hsien Kuan. See Post Office 
Shu, Kingdom, 9, 100 
Shui-wu Chu, 361 
Shun, ruler, 2, 3 
Shunchih, Emperor, 49, 123 
Sianfu, city, 11, 43, 76, 222, 311 
Siang, river, 27, 226 
Siangtan, city, 226, 227 
Siberian route, 20 
Silk, raw, 2, 136, 206, 235, 252, 253, 

279, 290, 293, 320 

— rolls as currency, 119, 136 

— woven, 94, 236, 320 
Silver, 206, 263 

— coins, 144, 157, 162, 167 

— currency, 143 

— fineness, 145, 149, 151, 160 

— ingots, 147, 159 
Skins, 298 
Smith, Arthur, 353 
Socrates, 5 
Sontay, 37 

Soochow, city, 32, 33, 40, 69, 95, 
107, 154, 172, 173, 237, 312 

Spade coins, 121 

Spanish relations, 16, 272, 326, 337 

Statistics of trade, 207, 214, 218, 
221, 225, 229, 231, 233, 234, 236, 
237> 243, 244, 245, 246, 249, 250, 
253* 255, 256, 258, 264, 268 

Straw-braid, 299 

Sugar, 290, 320 

Suiyuan, city, 76 

vSummer Palace, Peking, 23, 30 

Sun-fu, 64 

Sung Dynasty, 9, 10, 12, 13, 94, 122, 
133, 270, 324 




Sung, southern dynasty, 13, 122, 

134, 144, 235, 312 
Sungari River, 206 
Sungkiang, city, 32 
Sungpan, mart., 302 
Swatow, port, 29, 99, 252 
Szechwan, province, 1, 7, 9, 61, 76, 

92, 93» 95. 96, 101, 119, 133 
Szemao, city, 268 
Sze-Tao, 65 

Tael, Canton, 157 ; Haikwan, 151, 
161 ; Hankow, 157 ; Kuping, 88, 
153, 160 ; Peking, 155 ; Shang- 
hai, 158 ; Tientsin, 156 ; Tsao- 
ping, 154, 158 ; of silver, 145, 

149, 165 ; of weight, 124, 145, 

150, 171 
Taintor, E. C, 361 
Taiping, Emperor, 2, 3 

— Rebellion, 26, 31, 38, 55, 78, 95, 
106, 201, 226, 232, 235, 313, 335, 

Taitsang, 33 
Tai-Tsung, Emperor, 10 
Taiyuanfu, city, 43, 76, 222 
Taku Forts, 29, 42, 43, 44 
Ta-li Sze, 59 

Talien, port, 41, 206, 262, 316 
Tallow, vegetable, 320 
Tang, Prince of Shang, 4 

— dynasty, 10, 11, 122, 123, 125, 
133, 143, 270, 323 

Tanyang, city, 39 

Taoism, 5, 49 

Taokwang, Emperor, 24, 95, 126, 

Taotai, 65, 67, 82, 112 
Tartar General (Tsiang Kun), 63, 

66, 76, 123, 208 
Tatsienlu, mart, 302 
Tatung, city, 234 
Tatungkow, port, 209 
Tax collection, 48, 71, 73, 74, 80, 83, 

85, 88, 89, 102, 108, in, 188 
Tea, 226, 233, 248, 249, 250, 257, 

274, 279, 290, 306, 307, 311, 330 

— licenses, 104 
Tehchow, city, 76 
Telegraphs, 56 
Tengyueh, city, 268 
Three Kingdoms, The, 9 

Tiao (1,000 cash), variability, 130 
Tibet, 21, 203, 269 
Tien Wang. See Hung Hsin-chuen 
Tientsin, massacre, 34 

Tientsin, port, 14, 27, 30, 43, 60, 
65. 95* 107, 148, 154, 156, 199, 
211, 311, 317 

— treaties of, 29, 54, 180, 191, 193, 
237. 338 

Ti-hioh Sze, 65 

Timber, 95, 226, 263, 290, 305, 307 
Tin, 266, 288, 298, 305, 350 
Ting Tu-chang, Admiral, 40, 178 
Tipao, village elder, 48, 73 
Titai, Provincial Commander-in- 
Chief, 77 
Tobacco, 320, 327, 337 
Tongshan, 209 
Tonkin, French protectorate, 14, 

37> 38, 35o 
Tonnage dues, 278, 356, 360, 366 
Tow, measure of capacity, 172 
Tracking boats, 309 
Transfer money, 161 
Transit dues, 176, 267, 340, 360, 365 

— pass, 237, 264, 268, 269, 304, 315, 
316, 366 

Treasure, 25, 278, 283, 300, 329 
Treasurer, Provincial, 64, 67, 71, 

Treaties with China, 20, 26, 29, 30, 

36, 40, 54, 180, 181, 182, 183, 192, 

195- 271 
Treaty ports, 26, 29, 30, 36, 40, 107, 

203, 204, 206, 207, 212, 217, 226, 

227, 228, 229, 230, 253 

— privileges, 175, 183, 185, 187, 
194, 204, 220, 225, 364, 366 

Tribute, 8, 10, 14, 23, 47, 65, 71, 73, 
75- 94. 95> 96, 99- "9, *35- 172, 
314, 317, 318 

Tsai, Prince, 30 

Tsao-tsao, 9 

Tsen Chun-suan, 61 

Tseng Kwo-fan, 27, 61, 78, 226 

Tsiang Kun. See Tartar General. 

Tsin (China), 8 

— (Roman Empire), 8 

— Dynasty, 6, 7, 11, 68, 125 

— shih-hwang, 6, 7 
Tsinan, city, 221 
Tsingchow, city, 76 

Tsing Dynasty. See Manchus 
Tsinkianpu, city, 312, 313 
Tsingtau. See Kiaochow 
Tsitsihar, province and city, 205 
Tso Tsung-tang, 61 
Tsungli Yamen, 55, 57, 361 
Tsung-tu, 63 

Tsushima, Straits of, naval engage- 
ment of the, 44 
Tu-cha Yuan, 58 



Tung-cheng Sze, 59 

Tung-Chih, 66 

Tungchih, Emperor, 31, 35, 49, 50, 

51, 52, 143 
Tung Cho, 9 
Tungchow, 23, 30 
Tung-ling, 78 
Tung-pan, 66 

Tungting lake, 228, 231, 305 
Turgut, Tartar tribe, 23 
Turkestan, 21, 203 
Turkish Empire, 177 

Van Aalst, T. A., 384 

Viceroy, office of, 60, 61, 63, 66, 6y, 

yy, 112, 361 
Village government, 48, 73 
Vladivostock, port, 206 
Vlangaly, General, 31 

Wade, Sir Thomas, 35, 338, 353, 381 

Wai-wu Pu, 58, 361 

Wanghea, Treaty of, 182 

Wang Mang, 9 

Wanhsien, 226 

Wanli, Emperor, 16, 17, 145 

Ward, General, 32 

Ward, W. W., 357 

Wars: China- Japan, 11, 39; with j 
Great Britain, 25, 27, 179 ; with j 
France, 37; with Burma, 21; I 
between Russia and Japan, 44 

Wax, 95 

Weddell, Captain, 22, 273 

Weights, 171 

Wei, Kingdom, 9 

— river, 2 

Weihaiwei, British colony, 40, 41, ; 

Wenchow, port, 36, 247 
Wenpao Chu, 378 
Wen Siang, 55 

West River, 204, 251, 262, 266, 304 
Western nations, intercourse with, 

Whampoa, anchorage for Canton, 

277> 332 

— treaty of, 182 

Wharfage dues, 107 

Wheat, 206, 210 

Wilzer, F., 357 

Women prohibited in factories, 276 

Woodruff, F. E., 361 

Wool, 222, 299, 316 

Woollen cloth, 282, 288 

Wuchang, city, 27 

Wuchow port, 134, 259, 262, 263 

Wu How, Empress, 10, 11 

Wuhu, port, 36, 39, 154' 234, 318 

Wu Kien-chang, 353 

Wu, kingdom, 9 

Wu San-kwei, General, 17, 18, 59 

Wusih, city, 39, 312 

Wusueh, city, 39 

Wusung, port, 25 

Wu Wang, Duke of Chow, 4 

Xavier, St. Francis, 16, 191 

Yaishan, island, 13 

Yalu, battle of the, 40 

Yangchow, city, 39 

Yangtze River, 7, 9, 26, 29, 31, 32,. 

36, 38, 204, 223, 266, 305, 307, 

Yao, ruler, 2, 3 
Yatung, mart, 269 
Yeh, Viceroy, 28 
Yellow girdle, 52 

— River, 1, 3, 62, 83, 1 14, 204, 209,. 
210, 215, 216, 312, 315 

— Sea, 7, 15 
Yentai. See Chefoo 
Yen-yun Shih-sze, 65 

Yingkow, Yingtze. See New- 

Yochow, port, 218, 226 
Yii, ruler, 2, 3 
Yuan Dynasty. See Mongols 

— river, 2 

Yungcheng, Emperor, 21, 49, 124, 

125, 194. 210, 328 
Yunglo, Emperor, 123, 142, 211, 236 
Yunnan, province, 1, 33, 35, 37, 61, 

93, 95, 101, 120, 265, 304, 326, 

344, 345- 349 

Printed by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Lei., London and Aylesbury. 



HC Morse, Hosea Ballou 

4.27 The trade arid administra- 

M7 tion of the Chinese empire.